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The Conductors of this Journal think it right to intimate 
that, while exercising all clue discrimination in the selection 
of papers for publication, they do not hold themselves respon- 
sible for the statements or opinions advanced by the respective 

All communications for the Journal are to be addressed to 
the Editor, Robert MacAoaai, Esq., 18, College-Square East, 



Saint Columba. 

Notes on the Human Remains found within the Round Towers of Ulster, with 

some additional contributions towards a "Crania Hibernica." f Illustrated. J . . 

A Dialogue in the Ulster Dialect. 

The Irish Dialect of the English Language. 

Military Proclamation, in the Irish Language, issued by Hugh, Earl of Tyrone, in 1601 

The Braces in Ireland concluded. ... 

Surnames in the County of Down. ( Illustrated.) 

The Descendants of the last Earls of Desmond. 

Subterranean Chambers at Connor, County of Antrim. ( Illustrated.) 

Antiquarian Notes and Queries. ( Illustrated.) 

The Archaeology of Irish Tenant-Right. 

Notes on Lawns, with especial reference to the one at Bella-Hill, near Carrickfcrgus 
f Illustrated.) 

Errors of Edmund Spenser : Irish Surnames. 

Woods and Fastnesses of ancient Ireland. 

Ancient Seals found at Carrickfcrgus. f Illustrated.) 

Cinerary Urns discovered near Dundrum, County of Down. (Illustrated.) 

Irish Bardism in 1561. 

Ancient Iron Fetters. (Illustrated.) 

Opening of a Tumulus near Bella-Hill, Carrickfcrgus. ( Illustrated. ) 

Six Hundred Gaelic Proverbs collected in Ulster. 

Antiquarian Notes and Queries. 




Physical Characteristics of the ancient Irish. 

Irish Bardism in 1561 continued. 

Ploughing by the Horse's Tail. 

Notes on the Human Remains discovered within tlie Round Towers of Ulster continued 

{Illustrated. J 
Remarks on the early Architecture of Ireland, 
Six Hundred Gaelic Proverbs collected in Ulster continued, 
St. Bcretchert of Tullylease. {Illustrated.) 
Antiquarian Notes and Queries. {Illustrated.) 
On the early use of Aqua-Yitse in Ireland. 
The Ossianic Age. 

The Highland Kilt and the Old Irish Dress. {Illustrated.) 

The French Settlers in Ireland, Xo. 8 : The Huguenot Colon)- of Portarlington 
Ancient Cemetery in Island Magee, County of Antrim. {Illustrated.) ... 
Antiquities discovered on the Shore of Ballynass Bay, County of Donegal. {Illustrated 
Fairy Annals of Ulster. Xo. 1. 
Antiquarian Notes and Queries. 








Profile of Median Section of Skull, with graduated Circle. 

Transverse Sections. 

Profile Outlines of three Crania. 

Map of the County of Down, shewing the present distribution of the Population by 
their Surnames. 

Map of Caves at Connor, Counlv of Antrim. 




Stone bearing supposed Inscription, found in a subterranean chamber at Connor. ... ioo 

Bronze Fibula) and Tubes, found in the County of Antrim. ... ... ... ... 103 

Eastern Side and Entrance of the Bawn at Bella-Hill, near Carrickfergus. ... ... 125 

Plan of Bawn at Bella-Hill. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 139 

Ancient Seals found at Carrickfergus. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 1^2 

Cinerary^ Urns found near Dundrum, County of Down. ... ... ... ... ... 154 

Ancient Iron Fetters. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... jgg 

Tumulus near Bella-Hill, Carrickfergus. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 159 

Square Cavity formed of masonry, within the Tumulus at Bella-Hill. ... ... ... 171 

Skulls found at Mount Wilson and Drumbo. ... ... ... ... ... ... 225 

Section of the base of Kilkenny Round Tower, showing the position of Skeletons found 

there. ... .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... . . 228 

Skulls found at Clones and Annoy. ... ... ... .. ... ... .._ 233 

St. Beretcheart's Tomb-stono at Tulhylease, County of Cork. ... ... ... ... 267 

Sketch of part of the shore of Kincardineshire. ... ... ... ... ... ... 277 

Irish and Highland Costumes, from MSS. and early printed Books. ... ... ... 319 

Prince Charles Edward Stuart in the Highland costume, from a medal struck to comme- 
morate his arrival in Scotland, in 1745. ... ... ... ... ... 304 

Merchants' Mark. ... ... ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ... 33 j 

Ancient Cemetery in Island-Magee, County of Antrim. ... ... ... ... 3_jq 

Bronze Pins and Fibula; found on the shore of Ballynass Bay, County of Donegal. ... 3G1 


Columba, or as he is usually called, Colurub-kille, is the most famous of all the native saints of 
Ireland, and many have written accounts of his life ; but of his professed biographies there is not 
one that is good ; nor have we the means of writing one that will be satisfactory to the modern 
reader. The ancient documents from which the facts of his history must be drawn 1 are barren in 
such details as would now interest the feelings of men ; yet abundantly copious in frigid, frivolous, 
and incredible narratives : calculated to disgust and repel, instead of attracting, readers. It is no 
small proof of Columba' s excellence, that his character, after passing through the hands of such 
writers as the authors of these documents were, comes forth in many respects most amiable and ad- 
mirable. "With all their narrowness of view, and all their multiplied offences against literary taste, 
they were unable altogether to obscure the great services which their hero performed to religion and 
humanity. It may be that, in attempting a sketch of his life, we doom him to suffer once again 
through the deficiencies of his biographer ; but we shall at least avoid the prolixity with which 
some of his former historians are chargeable : and, thanks to the labours of Dr. Reeves, b we are far 

a The chief of these documents are, (1) A short Life 
of Columba by Cummeneus Albus, Abbot of Hv, who 
died Feb. 24, A.D 669. It has been printed by Colgan, 
Mabillon, and Pinkerton. (2.) The Vita Sancti Columbw, 
by Adamnanus, who was also Abbot of Hy, and died 
Sept. 23rd, AD. 704. Tt has often been printed ; (as by 
Canisius, by Messingham, by Colgan, by the Bollan- 
dists, by Basnage, and by Pinkerton ;) but never before 
with such accuracy, beauty, and completeness of illus- 
tration as by Dr. Reeves, in the edition which will be 
more particularly described hereafter. (3) Various 
short notices in Bede and other ecclesiastical writers ; 
in the Lives of other Saints ; in the Irish Annals ; 
in Martyrologies, Obituaries, Breviaries, and Calendars ; 
also in certain Irish and Latin hymns, and similar 
writings. (4) A number of minor and more recent Lives 
of the Saint both in Latin and Irish, chiefly extracted 
from the foregoing, (o.) A life written by Magnus 
O'Donnell the chief of Tyrconnell, in the year 1520; 
embodying most of the particulars mentioned in the pre- 
ceding documents, together with others, the source of 
which is now unknown. It exists in MS., but portions 
of it were translated into Latin and printed by Colgan, 
Many of its statements well deserve the epithets of 
"stuff," "trash," &c , freely applied to them by the 
learned Dr. Lanigan in his Ecclesiastical History. The 

principal modern writers on the Life of Columba are 
Ussher, Ware, Dr. Smith of Campbelltown, and Lani- 
gan : to whom must now be added Dr. Reeves : " nee 
pluribus impar." 

b See the Life of St. Columba, Founder of Hy; written 
by Adamnan, ninth Abbot of that Monastery : the Text 
printed from a MS. of the Eighth Century, with tfie various 
readings of six, other MSS. preserved in different parts of 
Europe, To which are added copious Notes and Disserta- 
tions, illustrative of the early History of the Columbian 
Institutions in Ireland and Scotland, /ij/ William Reeves, 
D.D., M.R.I. A., Curate of Kirkinriola in the diocese of 
Connor. Dublin, printed for the Irish Archaeological 
and Celtic Society. 1857. 4to. pp. 497 The very best edi- 
tion of the most important work on the history of Colum- 
ba and of the Irish church in the sixth century ; and 
among the best, if it be not indeed the very best of all the 
editions of any similar work ever published. It is 
scarcely possible to speak too highly of the zeal, learning, 
and sound judgment displayed in the preparation of this 
work. It contains the text of Adamnanus, from a copy 
almost contemporary with the author ; and it gives the 
various readings of every other accessible copy, of most 
of which the editor has made or procured collations ex- 
pressly for the use of this edition. The text is illus- 
trated by Notes containing all the information that 

better furnished than any of the moderns who have preceded us, with the needful historical aids. 
That learned, able, and judicious writer, has saved future inquirers respecting the life and character 
of Columba the trouble of instituting much long and difficult research. He has thrown himself 
iuto his subject with a zeal a-kin to that of Columb-kille himself, though directed to a different object ; 
prosecuted it with a loving perseverance ; and has, in consequence, drawn together almost, if not 
absolutely everything, that the ravages of time have spared, which can throw light on the life and 
labours of St. Columba. We need not say that we take from his rich pages almost all the facts em- 
braced in the following outline : for the opinions which we occasionally express, we are, of course, 
exclusively responsible. 

The saints of Ireland are divided into three orders, or races. The first includes St. Patrick, his 
contemporaries, and immediate successors : all of these were bishops, and several, like the great 
Apostle of Erin himself, were foreigners. The second generation, if we may use the expression, 
commenced about 110 years after the landing of St. Patrick: few of its members were bishops, 
many were presbyters : they employed many different masses or liturgical forms of religious worship, 
and observed various monastic rules, instead of the ancient rule of St. Patrick which had hitherto 
been universally followed. They excluded women from the monasteries in which the ministration 
of females had formerly been permitted. Like their predecessors, they practised an ecclesiastical 
tonsure different from that used upon the continent ; and observed the festival of Easter on the 
fourteenth day of the paschal moon. d The third order of saints commenced about the beginning of 

scholarship, industry, and devotion to a self-appointed " that introduced by St. Patrick; one Mass and one cele- 
task, have enabled the editor to disinter from the rub- bration," that is one uniform liturgy ; " one tonsure, and 
bish of ages, illustrating the places, persons, and events one Easter, or paschal cycle- They did not reject the 
mentioned in his author. Copious Prolegomena afford attendance or society of women; because, being founded 
all the details that can be desired respecting the history upon the rock of Christ, they did not fear the wind of 
of the work and of the author ; together with a Chrono- temptation." The next order continued till the close of 
logical Summary of St. Columba's Life ; while the Addi- the sixth century. It consisted of 300 saints, few of 
tional Notes (or Appendix) at the end of the volume, whom were bishops, the greater part having been pres- 
largely and in a most interesting style discuss a great byters: their other peculiarities are stated above, almost 
number of important questions, the treatment of which in the words of the writer of the Catalogue, 
would have occupied too much space in the body of the d So the author of the Catalogue affirms : but as this 
work. It is illustrated with beautifully executed origi- statement, if literally interpreted, would make the Irish 
nal maps of Ireland and of Ily, in the time of St. Co- absolutely quartodecimans (a charge from which they 
lumba ; and with five fac-similes of ancient MSS , the are expressly freed by Bede, though he strongly opposed 
value of which will be appreciated by every one who has their views and practice upon the Easter controversy,) 
been engaged in such pursuits. We congratulate Dr. as Columbanus, who vigorously upheld the Irish rule 
Reeves on the successful accomplishment of his impor- for the observance of Easter, expressly repudiates, in his 
t ant undertaking; and we congratulate the Established Epistles on this question, the practice of Quarto- 
Church of Ireland, which can afford to employ such a decimans, and as no example has been brought forward 
man in the obscure labours of the curacy of Kirkinriola. of the celebration of Easter, by any Irish church or 
c We here refer to a classified list of the Saints of the community, on any other day of the week than 
Irish church down to year 665, which has been pub- Sunday, I presume that either the writer was abo- 
lished by Ussher: {Frimord, p. 913 seqq.) divided into gether mistaken, or that his meaning was, that the 
three orders. The first comprehends St. Patrick, his Irish saints computed the paschal Sundays, (i.e. the 
companions, and their successors, till about A.D, 542: Sundays on which Easter might fall,) to be those which 
those we are told included three hundred and fifty happened from the 14th to the 20th day of the moon. This 
bishops, who were all either Romans, Franks, (the writer was contrary to the early Roman practice, which forbad 
should have said Gauls,) Britons, or Scots, (that is Irish.) Easter to becelebrated sooner than the 16th of the moon: 
" They observed one and the same Rule," (or discipline,) and to the Alexandrian, (afterwards introduced,) which 

the seventh century : "it consisted of holy presbyters with a few bishops, numbering in all a hun- 
dred, who dwelt in deserts and lived on water, herbs, and alms. They declined the possession of 
private property. They had diverse rules and Masses, and variety of tonsures ; some having the 
corona, others wearing their hair. They differed also as to the paschal solemnity : for some of them 
celebrated the feast of the resurrection from the fourteenth day of the moon, others from the six- 
teenth." This third order, it may be observed, did not begin till after the death of the subject of 
our memoir. We can imagine the spirit in which ecclesiastical history would be written by men 
who looked upon these points as the most important in the lives of the great personages whose char- 
acters they undertook to describe ! 

Columba, the most illustrious saint of the secondary race, was born on the 7th of December, A.D. 
521/' at a place called Gartan, not far from the centre of the modern Donegall. He was of noble, 
and even of royal lineage : f his father, Fcdhlimidh, was great-grandson to jNTiall of the Kme Hos- 
tages, who was monarch of Ireland at the beginning of the fifth century ; and his grandmother was 
daughter to Loam, the founder of the Hiberno- Scottish or Dalriadic kingdom in North Britain, 
which has given to the ancient Caledonia its present name of Scotland. 5 Aethnea, the mother of 
Columba, was of the royal line of Leinster ; a family which, in remoter times, had also given sove- 
reigns to Ireland. This illustrious pedigree, connecting St. Columba with the most ancient and 

fixed the celebration for the Sundays between the 15th 
and 21st. The difference led the Irish, in some years, 
to observe the Easter festival a month earlier, in othc rs 
a month later, than the churches in Britain and on the 
continent. The controversies on this subject were long 
and vehement: but were finally settled about the begin- 
ning of the 8"' century, when the Irish church consented 
to abandon its ancient usage and conform to that of Rome. 

It is stated in the life of St- Buite, the founder of 
Monaster boice, that on the very day of his death he 
prophetically announced the birth of an infant, who 
should, in the 30th year afterwards, come thither, dis- 
close his (St- Buite's) sepulchre, and mark the limits of 
the cemetery : a prophecy which the author of the Life 
says applied to Columb-kille. The calendars place the 
death of St- Buite on the 7th of December, which is thus 
determined to be the day of Columba's birth ; this we 
may accept as true, disregarding the legend- The year 
is not so easily settled, because the Annals vary in 
fixing the death of St- Buite : it may. however, be deter- 
mined thus. Adamnanus says that Columba was in his 
forty-second year when he came to lly : and that he 
arrived there in the second year after the battle of 
Cool-drevny : fl'ntf 2da, p. 9.) Now, tht battle was 
fought in the year .'><;!, according to Tighernach : con- 
si quently, the saint, arrived at Hy in the year 563, and 
was born in the year 521- But, on all such questions, 
the reader who has access to Dr. Reeves's notes, will 
< btain full satisfaction: see on this point Prolog., p. lxix: 
and Note a, p. .'II. 

'Seethe Pedigree, as given by Dr. Reeves, Adamn., 
p. 8, n It runs thus, counting upwards : Columba was 
the son of Fcdhlimidh, the son ot Fergus Cennfada, the 

son of Conall Gulban, (ancestor of the Cinel Conaill,) 
who was the son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, monarch 
of Ireland from the year 379 till 405 The above-named 
Fergus Cennfada, grandfather to St. Columba, was mar- 
ried to Erca daughter to Loarn, who was the son of 
Ere, and first king of the Scottish Dalriada. Again, 
Aethnea, the wife of Fedhlimidh and mother of Columba, 
was daughter of Dimma, who was ninth in descent from 
Cathaeir Mor, monarch of Ireland in AD- 120. This 
last genealogy may, perhaps, be the dictate of hearsay 
and general belief; but the others come within the 
period of written memorials. 

B The emigration of a colony of the Scots, (i.e., Irish,) 
from Dalriada (the northern part of the present county 
of Antrim) in the latter part of the fifth century, to a 
region to which they gave the same name, comprehend- 
ing the Mull of Cantyre and the adjacent rarts of Cale- 
donia, (which was then occupied by the Picts and Bri- 
tons;) the gradual extension of the Scoto-Irish dominion 
over the Highlands and Islands, by conquest and al- 
liance, until the representatives of the invaders ac- 
quired the sovereignty of the whole of North Britain, 
about the ninth century, and soon after gave to it its 
present name of Scotland, are facts now so well known, 
though once keenly disputed, that Innes, Sir Walter 
Seott, and other Scottish writers, though imbued with 
the strongest feelings of nationality, instead of contest- 
ing, admit, and solidly prove them. If any doubt re- 
mained, Dr Reeves, in his notes on Adamnan^ww/m, has 
given it the coup degruce- From the leaders of this emi- 
gration, through Malcolm Can-more, her present majesty 
Queen Victoria is descended; she, therefore, may bo 
reckoned among the kindred of St Columb a 

powerful families both ia Erin and Albin, must have co-operated with his personal qualities in 
nving to him that influence which he so long exercised over a race remarkable for their reverence 
for the blood and line of their native princes. 

His birth is said to have been preceded by an omen of his future greatness. An angel appeared 
to Aethnea, in a dream, and presented her with a robe of extraordinary beauty ; which she no 
sooner accepted, than he tore it from her and flung it to the winds. To her inquiry why he had 
done this, the angel replied that such a garment was too splendid and magnificent to be left with 
her ; and, looking after it, as it floated upon the breeze, she observed it unfolding itself and expand- 
ing till it spread beyond plains, mountains, and forests; and heard a voice which said, "Lady, be 
not grieved, for thou shalt present thy husband with a son, so fair and lovely, that he will be 
reckoned among the prophets of God ; and he is destined by the Most High to be the guide of souls 
innumerable to the heavenly land." 1 ' 

The early years of Columba were spent under the tutelage of a venerable presbyter, 1 to whom, 
also, the legends inform us, a celestial intimation was given, expressing the interest of heaven in 
the child confided to his charge. Once, on returning to his dwelling-place, after celebrating Mass, he 
found his whole house illuminated with a bright light, proceeding from a ball of fire that hovered 
over the face of the sleeping child. Trembling and astonished, he threw himself on the ground, 
perceiving that the grace of the Holy Spirit was shed from heaven upon the object of his care. k 
Legends of this kind, at present, excite either a smile or a sigh in the majority of readers ; but at 
the time when the early biographers of Columba composed their narratives, such incidents were the 
subjects most sought after, most valued, and most dwelt on. In fact, miracles of this kind form the 
staple of the ancient lives of Saint Columba j 1 and whatever information we obtain concerning his 
personal conduct and inward spirit is only let fall accidentally, while such prodigies arc related 
circumstantially. The only other facts that are stated concerning the childhood of Columb-kille are 
that he was distinguished for an angelic sweetness and purity ; m and that he applied himself dili- 

h Adamnanus, L. iii. c- 1. The incident is copied from the history of the descent of the Holy Spirit, on the day 

Cummeneus Albus, c. 1. It is possible that Aethnea may of Pentecost. (Acts, ii., 3, 4 ) 

have had such a dream; and that she and her husband l Of these we may take that by Adamnan as a sample. 
may have been influenced by it in devoting Columba to He entitles his work, Vita S'incti Colinnbce ; " the Life 
the service of God. There are many parents now living of St. Columba ;" and he divides it into three Books : 
who would not altogether disregard such an occurrence, of which the first treats of Prophetic Announcements 
On the other hand, it could very readily have been ima- by, or concerning Columba ; the second of his Miracu- 
gined or invented in after times; and bears a suspicious lous Powers; and the third, of Angelic Visions and Visi- 
resemblance to many similar narratives in the lives of tations. To this division he strictly adheres, totally re- 
other saints. gardless of the chronological order. In fact, if it had 

i Called by Adamnan, Cruithnechanus; whose name, as not been for the angelic visitations which accompanied 

Dr. Reeves conjectures, is probably preserved in Kil- his birth and death, the biographer, apparently, would 

cronafrhan, a parish in the diocese and county of Derry. have had no opportunity of mentioning that Columba 

(Adamn., p 191, n.) was born or that he died. It is fer this reason that the 

k Adamn, L iii., c. 2, p 191-2. The legend seems to Vision of Aethnea, already alluded to, is introduced, not 

have been formed by combining the story told by Livy, at the beginning of the Life, but in the last book, be- 

of the lambent flame which played around the head of cause it comes under the head of Anjelic Visitations, 
the infanr Servius Tullius, in the palace of the first Tar- Adamnan, 2nd. Pref., p. 9 " Who, from his very 

quin, and Tanaquil's interpretation of the omen, with childhood, being devoted to Christian instruction and 

gently to the studies which were prescribed for him. So it is said that, while yet very young, lie 
was able to recite the psalms, responsively, as it would appear, with a certain bishop, to whom he 
had gone on a visit in company with his preceptor." 

When old enough to profit by instruction of a more advanced order, he was sent to the seminary 
founded and conducted by the celebrated St. Finnian, at Magh-bile, now Movilla, in the present 
county of Down, near the head of Strangford Lough, and not many miles from Belfast. The nature 
of the training which he here received is described to us in four words sapient tarn Sacrce Scriptura: 
addiscens, " applying himself to the study of holy Scripture." p It was while he was enrolled as a 
student under Finnian, that Columba was admitted into holy orders ; but as yet only to the 
rank of deacon. "We are told that, on one occasion, by some accident, wine for the administra- 
tion of the sacrament was not to be found : whereupon Columba, who had heard the officiating 
priests lamenting the mischance, took up a pitcher, aud proceeded to the well, as if for the purpose 
of fetching the spring- water required in the service. Having filled his vessel, "he blessed it, in- 
voking the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, who turned water into Avine at Cana of Galilee ;" upon 
which a similar miracle was wrought ; and the saint, returning from the well, presented the pitcher 
with its contents to the ministrants, saying, "Here is wine which the Lord Jesus hath sent for the 
celebration of his own sacrament !" This, we are told, was Saint Columba's first miracle ; the 
credit of which, however, he was too humble to take to himself ; ascribing it to the holy bishop 
Finnian. q 

We know neither the age of Columba when he was first placed under the direction of St. Fin- 
nian, nor the exact period of his departure from Movilla ; but we find him while still a deacon, and 
therefore, probably, not long after he had quitted that school, studying divinity under the direction 
of an aged man named Gemmanus, in some part of Leinster. r Here, too, his supernatural gifts 

the pursuit of knowledge, and preserving by the gift of Blessed Saviour's First Miracle ; (John, ii-, 1-11.) To 

God the purity of his body and the innocence of his make the parallel complete, the change of water into 

soul, displayed, while yet on earth, his fitness for the wine is also made the first miracle of St- Columba : and 

heavenly life." Of course, this relates to the mature Adamnan himself points out its identity with the first 

age as well as to the earlier years of St. Columba. miracle of Christ 

This visit, and the occurrence to which it led, are r Lanigan considers the name Gemmanus' to be a mis- 
related by O'Donnel) only; (ap. Colg., TV. Th., p. 393 :) taken reading for Gernianus; (Eccl. His., p. 119, 120 ;) 
the source is suspicious ; but the incident by no means but Dr. Ileeves has advanced solid reasons for believing 
improbable. The Bishop's name is given as Brugacius. that the text is correct : it is so read in the. Reichenau 

"All the modem historians of St. "Columba, without MS- of the eighth century, and in several others. Dr. 
exception, agree that Finnian of Maghbile, or Movilla, Reeves identifies Gemmanus, the instructor of St. Co- 
was the head of the institution in which he was placed lumba, with a person of that name who is mentioned 
to receive his advanced education ; but Adamnan twice in the life of St. Finnian of Clonard, and is there called 
calls the teacher Findharrus: (p- 13, and p. 103 :) yet in a "Carminator," who wrote " a certain magnificent ode" 
the same chapter in which the last example is found, he (carmen quoddam magnificum,) which a few lines far- 
names him Vinnianus, and twice he calls him Finnio, ther down is called a '' Hymn,' by the recital of which a 
i.e., Finnian : (p. 95.) But the two names, according to barren field was made fertile. (Act., SS-, p 395, b.) This 
their etymology, signify nearly the same thing ; Finni in person appears to have resided in the neighbourhood of 
denotes Wh ite, Findbarr. White-headed; and perhaps the Clonard: but the place is not named- It is possible 
saint may have borne both titles. But see the note by that, before*completing his studies, St. Columba would 
Dr. Reeves, p. 103. desire to improve himself under a competent instructor, 

vAdamn. 1, ii.. c. 1- p. 103. in the composition and modulation of sacred lyrics: 

4 Adamnan, ubi supra The story is a parody on our nor would this object of his studies be inconsistent with 

were displayed. A young maiden, pursued by an assassin, sought refuge under the protection of 
the aged Gemnianus, who happened to be reading in the open air : he, in trepidation, called Columba 
to his aid, that by their united efforts they might repel the murderer ; but the ruffian, undeterred 
by their sanctity, laid his victim dead at their feet with a thrust of his lance. Not with impunity, 
however. " How long," exclaimed Gemmanus, " will the Righteous Judge permit this outrage and 
our dishonour to remain unavenged?" "The very moment," replied Columba, "that the soul of 
this murdered maiden ascends to heaven, the soul of that murderer sinks down to hell !" And, on 
the word, the slaughterer of the innocent fell dead to the earth before the eyes of the holy youth ; 
"even," (so the historian affirms) " as Ananias dropped down at the rebuke of St. Peter." 8 He is 
also said to have spent some time under the tuition of St. Finnian of Clonard, in Meath ; * but it is 
possible that this statement arises from confounding together the two saints, Finnian of Movilla, 
and Finnian of Clonard, who were both celebrated as teachers of theology, and were also contem- 
poraries. He is further reported to have studied under Mobhi at Glasnevin, u and Kieran at 
Clonmacnoise ; v but the latter statement is impossible: for Clonmacnoise was not founded till two 
years after Columba himself had erected a similar institution j w and the former rests on slight 

It was while he was in Leinster that he was seized with a desire to engage in undertakings simi- 
lar to those by which so many of his countrymen in that age had made or were then making them- 
selves famous ; namely, the erection of monasteries, which were also seminaries of learning, centres 

the expression of Adamnanus, that while yet a youthful meneus ; and is by him expressly attributed to Finnian 

deacon he resided with Gemmanus, "divinam addis- of Movilla. Moreover, in relating it, Adamnan calls the 

cens sapientiam," " making further progress in divine person of whom he writes, "venerandum episcopum 

science." (See Adamn. 1. ii-, c 25, p. 137 ; and Dr Finnionem ;" a title which cannot apply to Finnian of 

Reeves's note-) Clonard, who never attained or accepted the episcopal 

J "Et dicto citius, cum verbo, sicut Ananias coram dignity. The authorities are given fully and impar- 

Petro, sic et ille innocentium jugulator, coram oculis tially by Dr. Reeves ; Adamn., p. 195, 196. notes. 

sancti juvenis, in eadem mortuus cecidit terrula." 0' ' Donnell apud Colgan, ( Vita, &c, 1. i.. c. 43.) The 

(Adamn. 1. ii. c. 25, p. 13S.) It would almost seem as if the statement is irreconcileable with the established facts of 

biographer had wished to intimate the mythical charac- Columba's history; for he was, as we have seen, ordained 

ter of the legend, by referring to a source from which it a deacon while yet at Movilla; and, allowing that he 

might have been, and probably was, copied was admitted into that order at the early age of twenty- 

1 Columba is numbered among the disciples of Finnian two, (the present canons prescribe twenty-five,) he could 

of Clonard, in the Life of that saint, and also in the Life not have left the place sooner than the year 544: 

of St. Kieran of Clonmacnoise, and in that of Columba of he then studied for some time under Gemmanus; 

Tir-da-glas. (Trias Thaum., p. 457. j "With these autho- but Mobhi died, according to the Four Masters, in 

rities Dr. Reeves concurs. "We do not attach to them A.D. 544: that is, correctly, in the year 545, the very 

any considerable weight, for there was a tendency, year preceding that in which the monastery of Derry 

among the writers of the lives of eminent doctors, to was founded: there was, consequently, no time for 

enrol every distinguished person of the age, if possible, Columba to have pursued his studies either at Clonard 

in the list of those whom they had instructed : and, in or Glasnevin. 

this case, an occasion was afforded for the legend, by the " Smith," (Life of Columba, &c, p- 8.) "has a fable 

contemporaneous existence of two Finnians ; the one at concerning Columba having also been under Kieran of 

Movilla, where Columba undoubtedly was a student; Clon, that is, Clonmaenois. Where he got it I cannot 

the other at Clonard, of which place neither Cummeneus tell." Lanigan, Eccl. His., ii.. p. 221. 

nor Adamnanus make any mention in connection with w " Clonmacnoise was founded in 548, by Ciaran mac 

Columb-kille. It is worthy of note that the only in- an t-saoir : Filius artificis." Dr- Reeves's Adamn., p. 24, 

cident in Adamnanus which Dr Reeves understands as note. Derry was founded by Columba, in A.D. 546. 
applying to Finnian of Clonard is copied from Cum- 

of missionary exertion, and mother-churches to the districts in which they were situated. Nor let 
this desire appear to any Christian of the present day either irrational, fanatical, or visionary. 
The most determined foe to monasticism might find it difficult to point out an enterprise better cal- 
culated to be of real service to mankind, in the age and state of society which then existed in the Bri- 
tish Isles. x The place which Columba chose for his first monastery was called Daire Calgach, " the 
Oak-wood of Calgach ;">' occupying the site of the present city of Londonderry. He obtained a grant 
of the ground from his kinsmen, the chieftains of the district : * and, having collected a sufficient 
number of associates and disciples, founded an institution, which, though for a long scries of years 
its light was eclipsed by the superior lustre of his other monasteries, was yet the most permanent, 
and became, in time, the most distinguished of all his establishments.* It was erected in A.D. 546. b 
About seven years afterwards, (wihout relinquishing his authority over Daire -Calgach, c ) he founded 
a similar monastery at Dair-magh, now called Durrow, in the King's County . d It was better 

* That the monastic system and monastic institutions 
did, in the middle ages, perform most important services 
to religion and humanity, has been admitted by Guizot, 
(History of Modern Civilization,') and other writers by no 
means favourable to conventualism as applied to the 
existing state of society. That they really served the 
important purposes enumerated in the text, no unpre- 
judiced man, acquainted with history, will deny ; while 
they were also asylums in which the victims 01 their 
own bad passions, or of the violence of other men, sought 
shelter ; and in which former disturbers of the peace 
often found a sphere of innocent and useful labour. 
But the discussion of this subject would open up too 
wide a field to be traversed in a note. 

y Daire- Calgach. The first part of this compound, it 
is universally agreed, signifies an oak or an oak wood; 
the second is a derivative, signifying " sharp as a 
thorn, or spike," hence a fierce warrior ; and may have 
been the proper name of many other chieftains as well 
as of the Galgacus, whose exploits, as commander of the 
Caledonians, have been immortalised by Tacitus. It 
had, like many other forests in Ireland, a name, before 
the days of St. Columba ; but probably very few inhabi- 
tants, till settlers were invited by the erection of his 
church and monastery. In the work of Adamnanus, the 
name is translated, Roboretum Calgacki; and it appears 
to have borne the name of Calgach till the middle of the 
tenth century, when it began to be called Bairi-Ckoluim- 
cillc, i.e., Derry of Columb-kille, from the saint to whom 
it owed its importance. Its modern title of London- 
derry is owing to the property of the soil having been 
vested in the guilds or incorporated companies of the 
city of London, in the beginning of the seventeenth cen- 
tury. In conversation, and as the see of a Bishop, it is 
now called Herri/ .simply. 

* The early Irish life of Columba, and, copying from 
it, O'Donnell makes the land of Daire-Calgach a dona- 
tion from " Aedh the son of Ainmire who was king of 
Erin at that time." {Reeves a A damn., p. 160, n.) But 
Aedh could not have been more than ten years old in 
the year .':4i> ; and, in the days of Tanistry, no child of 
that age could have power to alienate land in perpetuity, 

or indeed at all ; and it is possible that the story aroso 
from confounding Daire Calgach with Dair-magh, the 
site of which was granted to St. Columba by another 
Aedh, the son of Brendan. {Reeves's Adamn-, p. 23, n ) 
Much more cautious is the statement of the Four Masters, 
who say that the saint obtained the land " from his own 
tribe, i.e., the race of Conall Gulban, the son of Niall." 
(But see the argument advanced by the writer of the 
History of Londonderry, in the Ordnance Memoir of Tern- 
plemore, p 18, who contends that in the sixth century 
the site did not belong to the Cinel-Conaill, but to the 
Cinel-Eoghain.) The Four Masters erroneously fix the 
date of this foundation at A.D. 535, the year of the birth 
of Aedh, son of Ainmire; at which time Columba was 
in the fourteenth year of his age ; and far too young to 
be the founder of a monastery. 

a This is manifest from the circumstance that the 
Abbot of the Great Monastery ot Derry is often deno- 
minated in the Annals of the Forr Masters, and in other 
Irish Histories, Cumharba Choluim-cillc, "the successor 
of Columb-kille,'' and was allowed to exercise jurisdic- 
tion even over the monastery of Hv: (see Annals of 
Ulster, A.D. 1164: Four Mas., A.D 1203.) 

b This is the date assigned in the Annals of Ulster, 
and adopted by Ussher, AVare, Lanigan, Reeves, and 
almost all other competent historians. The mistake of 
the Four Masters, who place it in the year 535, (i.e., 
536) has been already noticed. 

c Dr- Reeves says of the saint's emigration to Hy, or, 
Iona : "St. Columba, when he departed, severed no 
ties, surrendered no jurisdiction : his congregations re- 
mained in their various settlements, still subject to his 
authority." {Adamn. Prol., p Ixxv.) With this state- 
ment the whole narrative is perfectly consistent : and 
the fact is important witli reference to a question that 
will be hereafter considered. 

a This name, which signifies either "the Oak of the 
Plain,'' or "the Plain of the Oak," is usually expressed 
by Adamnanus in Latin, "Roboretum Campi, Roboris 
Campus, Roboreti Campus, or Roboreus Campus;" 
though in one place he trives to it the native title, " mo- 
nasteriuni quod Scoticc dicitur Dair-magh." {Adamn. 

known in foreign countries than an}- other of his conventual institutions in Ireland.' It appears 
to have been while he was engaged in the erection of this celebrated monastery that he was 
raised to the priestly order by Etchen, a bishop resident at Clonfad, in "Westmeath : and here 
a mistake is said to have occurred, which, if it actually happened, shows a laxity in matters 
of canonical discipline that may to some appear surprising. It is stated that Columba was sent to 
Etchen with testimonials from several neighbouring ecclesiastics, recommending him as a candidate 
for consecration as bishop. The saint having arrived at Etchen's church, inquired for the bishop ; 
and was told, " There he is, ploughing in the field." He soon accosted the prelate, who gave him a 
most friendly welcome ; and, on being informed of the object of his visit, professed his readiness to 
comply : however, by mistake, he ordained Columba as a presbyter, instead of consecrating him as 
bishop. On discovering the error, Etchen was desirous of rectifying it by consecrating the saint 
next day ; but Columba, looking on the matter as providential, declined the intended honour, and 
declared his intention to remain till the end of his life in the priesthood which had thus unex- 
pectedly been conferred upon him. f There is but slight authority for the story ; and perhaps it had 
no other foundation than the known fact of Columba having chosen to remain through life a pres- 
byter, when his merits and his fame would have justified him in aspiring to the highest order in the 

Of the manner in which he employed himself during the years of his life that were spent at Daire- 

p. 23 ) There were several other churches which bore 
the same name; among the rest, one in the modern 
county of Kilkenny, and another in Roscommon, from 
which this foundation is to be carefully distinguished. 
After Columba's removal to Hy, we find Lasrianus act- 
ing as superior of the monastery of Dair-magh : (Adamn. 
pp. 57, 58 ;) though even then the founder felt himself in- 
terested in its inmates, and in some measure responsible 
for their welfare. The precise year of this foundation 
is not known- Bede states that it was erected before 
the emigration of Columba to Hy. (Hist. Eccl., 1. iii , 
c, 4.) Tighernach states that the site was granted to 
the saint by Aedh the son of Brendan, king of Tebhtha ; 
he became lord of that territory in the year 553 : be- 
tween that year, therefore, and AD. 563, when the 
monastery of Hy was constructed, the erection at Dair- 
magh must be placed. 

Bede, in the passage already referred to, joins Dair- 
magh with Hy as the two principal establishments of 
Columba. His words are: " Fecerat, autem, priusquam 
Brittaniam veniret, monasterium nobile in Hibernia, quod 
a copia roborum Dearmach lingua Scottorum, hoc est 
Campus Roborum, cognominatur." (His. Ec-, 1. iii. c. 4.) 

: 'This story is not told by either Cummeneus or Adam- 
nanus ; it is given in a scholium, by one Alaguire, on the 
Felire of Aengus the Culdee, whence it has been copied by 
O'Donnell, {Life of Columba, 1- i., c. 47, ap. Colgan,) and 
others. The violations of canonical rule, as now under- 
stood and practised, are manifest; first, in the desire 
t ) raise a deacon at once per saltum to the episcopal 
dignity; and secondly, in the expectation, which the 

friends of Columba and the saint himself had cherished, 
that Etchen would proceed without the aid or pre- 
sence of two other prelates to consecrate a bishop ; 
coupled with his willingness to do so on finding 
out that he had misconceived the nature of the 
application made to him. Of both practices, however, 
there are many examples in ecclesiastical history, 
some of which, but by no means all, that might 
have been adduced, are given by Dr. Reeves, (Adamn- 
Additional Notes, p. 349) Some persons have regarded 
this anecdote as favouring the identity of the order of 
priest and bishop in the ancient Irish church ; but it 
manifestly proves the very reverse. Dr. Lanigan endea- 
vours to obviate the irregularities implied in this trans- 
action by applying to his favourite hypothesis of Chore- 
piscopi or Rural Bishops: (Eccl. Hist-, vol. ii., p. 128, 
&c.;) but that is a mere shift, and quite inconsistent with 
the spirit of the story : for, it was obviously intended, 
both by Columba and his commendants, that he should 
have been raised to a high rank and dignity, suitable to 
his merits, not to a very inferior and unimportant one ; 
neither would there have been any exercise of voluntary 
humility in Columba's preferring to remain a presbyter, 
rather than be consecrated Chorepiscopus, if no higher 
dignity had been offered to his acceptance. It would 
have been easy for Dr. Lanigan to reject the narrative 
altogether ; for which, indeed, the authority is very 
slight; but many similar narratives, respecting other 
eminent men, remained in his documents : and he seems 
to have thought it safest to dispose of them, once for 
all, by inventing an order of rural bishopn. 

Calgach and at Dair-magh, his biographers give us no account whatever. It is certain that he was, 
in after ages, revered by his countrymen as the founder of an immense number of churches and re- 
ligious houses in various parts of Ireland. Dr. Reeves has compiled a list, gathered from every 
accessible quarter, of the establishments the foundation of which has been ascribed to him, or in 
which his memory was revered. e It is possible that some of the institutions enumerated in it were 
not actually erected by St. Columba, but merely dedicated to his honour : while, on the other 
hand, when we consider the casual manner in which the facts collected by Dr. Reeves, and by his 
forerunner, Colgan, are mentioned in the original documents whence they have been extracted, it 
is at least equally possible that a great many churches and convents may have been built by Columb- 
kille, of the foundation of which we have no record. His countrymen believed that he had founded 
three hundred religious establishments in his native land : h and, although that number is, doubt- 
less, greatly exaggerated, still the existence of such a tradition shows that he had spent much time 
and devoted a vast amount of energy to these pious works ; and that he had carried them on with a 
success which eclipsed the lustre of all former achievements of the same kind in this island, excepting 
only those of St. Patrick. But the professed historians of Columb-kille have scarcely thought such enter- 
prises worthy of even a passing notice. Adamnanus does not notice them at all : Cummeneus scarcely 
at all. The splendid and enduring monuments by which Columba stamped the impress of his mind, not 
merely on his contemporaries, but on his countrymen for many generations, they thought unworthy of 
a special record.' A few of them, but only a few, are briefly and obscurely alluded to in the narrative 
of some silly superstition or some legendary tale ; and this is all the information that is left us, in 
several instances, upon points which arc now the subject of legitimate and enlightened curiosity. 
We long to know the circumstances which disciplined the soul of Columba ; the mental culture 
which he received ; the friends, guides, and counsellors of his youth ; the associates and partners 
of his toils in after years ; the motives by which he was actuated ; the trials and struggles, the 

b See Adamnan; Additional Note, G- page 270, &c. churches and monasteries of which he was truly the 

Among these institutions Dr. Reeves enumerates Dur- founder. 

row, Derry, Kells, Tory, Drumcliff, Swords, Raphoe, ''Such is the number assigned to him in the old Irish 
Kilmore, Lambay, Moone, Clonniore, Kilmacrenan, Gar- Life. Adamnan calls him "a father and founder of mo- 
tan, Glencolnikill (County Donegal), Ternpledouglas, nasteries ;" and speaks of " his monasteries founded in 
Assylyn, Skrcen (County Meath). Ballynascreen. Skreen the territories both ofthePictsand the Scots of Britain." 
(County Londonderry), Drumcolumb, Columbkille (Co. ' It may suffice to mention that the most copious of 
Longford), Emlaghfad. Glencolunibkille (County Clare), his ancient biographers Adamnanus does not expressly 
Kilcolumb, Knock, Termon-Maguirk, Cloghmore, Co- treat of the erection even of the church and monastery 
lumbkille (Co. Kilkenny), Ardcolum, Armagh, Morn- of Uy, of which the writer was himself abbot, and for 
ington, Desertegnv, Clonmany, Desertoghill, Ballyma- the use of whose inmates the Life was originally com- 
groarty (County Donegal), Ballymagrorty (near Derry), posed! There are allusions to Columba as the founder 

and Kskaheen in all thirty-seven. It is proper to add of the place: but no account whatever of the event itself. 

that I'r. Lanigan strongly doubts whether Kells was Sucli being t lie case with respect to Ily, it would be vain 

founded by Columba, or in his lifetime: and absolutely to expect any more precise notice of the other establish- 

re.jeets his' claim to be considered the erector of Swords, ments of St. Columba. Let theblame not be cast on his 

Raphoe. the Skreens, Drumcliff, Tory, Glcncolmkille in modern historians, if oftentimes theyfail to do justice to 

Clare, and others; while, nevertheless, he admits that his memory, or faithfully to chronicle his achievements : 

the lo^s of ancient records, and the absence of any pro- the fault lies with those who were connected with him 

per history of the saint, have doubtless deprived us by far closer ties, yet neglected to transmit the memory 

of the means of establishing Columba's title to several of his merits which would have perpetuated his fame. 
vol,, vi. n 


fears and hopes, the encouragements and disappointments that he experienced ; the opposition that 
he encountered, and the means hy which he overcame it ; the instruments that he employed in 
carrying out his plans ; the success that attended his efforts ; the failures against which he had to 
hear up ; and the influence, moral and spiritual, which resulted from all these " experiences," both 
in his own spirit and the hearts and character of other men. But for such knowledge we sigh in 
vain. What would we not give for a volume of letters between Columba and Kieran, on the plans 
and operations of their daily life, at Dairmagh and Clonmacnoise ! But such information is beyond 
our hopes. For the thoughts and feelings of the soul of Columba, we must dive, not into the pages 
of his biographers, but into the recesses of our own minds : in other words, the knowledge of them 
is banished from the domains of historical testimony, and is to be sought for only in the regions of 
imagination. One thing, however, is plain, that Columba never could have reaped the splendid 
success which undoubtedly attended his efforts, had he not been a man of commanding powers, of 
undaunted zeal, of earnest self-consecration to his work, and of a character which inspired the re- 
spect and confidence of those among whom he lived. This by no means implies that he was alto- 
gether free from blemishes and defects. Some such are pretty clearly intimated by writers who 
yet were desirous of setting the fame of Columba in the brightest light. According to the ideas of 
the time, these blemishes, even though serious, were not deemed inconsistent with sanctity ; but 
still he must have been a man eminent for piety and virtue, according to the notions of his age ; 
else, he could never have attained the influence which he exercised over the chieftains, who granted 
him lands for the churches and monasteries which he founded, over the devotees, who became their 
inmates, addicting themselves to a life of toil and self-denial, that they might share in his labours and 
partake of his reward, the youth, who flocked to them from all quarters, to imbibe his instructions, 
and the people generally, by whom it is evident that Columba was revered, during life and after 
death, as one of the holiest of men and a chief among the favourites of heaven. 

After spending several years in the pursuit of his pious and benevolent enterprises in Ireland, St. 
Columba resolved to transfer the scene of his labours to another land : and this purpose he executed 
in the year 563 ; being then forty-two years of age. His motive in forming this resolution has been 
the subject of much discussion ; and we cannot hope, in the compass of our short narrative, to free 
the question from all obscurity, although Ave do not think that the darkness is altogether impenetrable. 

The early authorities, when they advert to the motives of Columb-kille for leaving his native 
land, ascribe to him none which arc not in themselves virtuous and honourable, and at the same 
time perfectly consistent with his previous as well as subsequent history. Adamnan says that "he 
sailed from Ireland to Britain, desirous of going on pilgrimage for the sake of Christ" k The vene- 

k Do Scotia ad Britanniam, pro Christo peregrinari where else : but to the extension of the glory of Christ, 

volens, enayigavit. ( Prcef. 2da. p. 9.) " The phrase and the advantage of souls." (Dr> Lanigan, Eccl. Uiit. 

pro Christo docs not refer to Columba's own salvation, ii. 152. )[ 
whioh he might have worked out at home as well as any 


rable Bcdc expresses himself in similar terms : he says that Columba " came from Ireland to Bri- 
tain to preach the word of God to the provinces of the Northern Picts." 1 In an ancient Life of Columba, 
found in a MS. at Brussels, (which is called the Salamanca MS.) the same motive is assigned:" 1 and 
no other is alluded to in the Martyrology of Donegall, printed by Colgan ; which, though recent, 
was undoubtedly founded upon ancient testimonies. 11 These statements seem very explicit. The 
reason attributed is sufficient : and it agrees perfectly both with the previous and the after life of St. 

But there are more recent authorities which assert that Columba' s reasons for withdrawing from 
Ireland were of a description far less honourable to himself ; that, instead of a voluntary exile, for 
the spread of the Gospel, his removal was the result of a civil or ecclesiastical sentence, pronounced 
upon him for offences which he had committed in his native land ; and that the founder of Hy, 
the apostle of the Picts, and the father of Christianity in many wide regions of Xorth Britain, 
which till his day had been under the control of paganism, was, in fact, a banished if not an excom- 
municated man, undergoing sentence for his crimes ! Of those who take this view of his history, 
some regard his exile as the fulfilment of an ecclesiastical sentence for scandals against religion ; 
some as an expiation, enjoined by a spiritual counsellor ; p and others as a penance, self-imposed," 1 
for such offences. Of the first hypothesis, it is enough to say that it is refuted by the whole tenor 
of his after-life. Had Columba been banished from Ireland by a sentence either of a civil or 
ecclesiastical tribunal, he would have gone forth with a brand upon his brow, and a stain upon 
his character, which would effectually have ruined his reputation and destroyed his influence, both 
among the Christians and the pagans of his time. How could a banished convict, especially if 
banished by the authorities of the church, have procured religious men as his companions, pro- 
pared to share his exile, and to submit to his authority as the ruler not only of a single convent, 

1 Venit de Ilybernia Britanniam, prtedicaturus vor- i> Sanctus vero Columba visitavit S. Lasrianum, con- 
bum Dei provinciis septentrioualium Pictorum Hist, fessorem suum, post bellum de Culdremne, petens abco 
feci. 1. iii- c. 4. salubre consilium ; quo scilicet niodo post neceni nml- 

1,1 Postqmim vir sanctus ad ea, qua', quondam mente torutn occisorum, benevolentiam L>ei ac remissioiieni 

proposuerat, implenda, ad peregrinationis videlicet pro- peccatorum obtinere mereretur. Beatus igitur Lasria- 

positum et ad conye.rtendos adfidem I'ictos, opportunum nus, divinarum scripturarum scrutator, imperavit ut tot 

tempus adesse viderit, patriam suam reliquit, et ad animas a poenis liberaret quot aniniarum causa perdi- 

insulam Jonani prospero navigavit cursu. (Codex Sal 'm. tionis extiterat : et hoc ei prrecepit ut perpetuo moraretur 

asciti'dby Dr. Reeves from Colgan, Trias Thaum.p.S2^a.) extra Hibernian in exilio. (Vita Laxriani, ap Colgan, Tr. 

n Salutis animarum et. propaganda fidei astuans desi- Th. p. 401, b.) Observe that here the sentence is stated 

di'rio, in Albioueni profectus, ilii extruxit famosum illud to have been one of perpetual exile, 

liyense et alia plnrin'ia inonastcria et ecclesias. Mar- 4 " Columba himself, according to O'Donnell, declared 

tyrol. JJungakrisis, up. Colgan, Tr. Th. p. 483. his determination to become a voluntary exile : blaming 

> Post luec in Synoilo Sanctorum Hibernhe gravis (pie- himself for the disastrous consequences, not only of Cul- 

rela contra, Sanctum Columbain, tanquain authorem tarn dremhuc, but also of two other battles which had been 

multi sanguinis effusi, instituta est. Undo coiumuni de- caused by his means. He is represented assaying to liis 

</ 'o consuerunt ipsum debere tot animas, a gentilitate kinsmen, ' Milii juxta quod ab Angelo prrcmoiiitus sum, 

conversas. Chnsto lucrari, quot in isto pnelio interie- ex llibernia emigrandtira est, et dum vlxero exiilanduni, 

runt. (<>' D'inio II uj). Colgan, Acta Sane', p. HI").) It is quod nici causa plurimi per vos cxtincti sunt,'" <S:c. 

needless to state that all. or almost all, the references to (t>r. /,'< x, Ad nun. p. L'5J.) Here, also, the penance is 

Colgan and citations from him in these notes, are copied declared to involve banishment for /He. 
from Dr. Beeves. 


but of multitudinous institutions in the Highlands and Islands of Caledonia ? How could he have 
established his influence over the Dalriadic colony which, maintaining, as it did, continued inter- 
course with Ireland, could not be ignorant of his circumstances and character? How could he have 
gained the influence which he undoubtedly acquired among the unbelieving Picts ? This argument 
may appear perhaps too subtle to bear much weight ; but there is another consideration which seems 
to us to establish the negative of this theory. If Columba's exile was the fulfilment of a sentence 
of any court, it must have been a perpetual exile. To send him abroad, and allow him to return 
when he pleased, would have answered no useful purpose. Indeed it is expressly stated that he was 
condemned to perpetual banishment from Ireland/ IS'ow, Columba did not live in perpetual banish- 
ment. He returned, at least once probably more than once to his native land ; he came back, 
to all appearance, without any license or reversal of his supposed sentence ; he came back, not in 
secrecy and silence, but in a character of great dignity and authority, to attend a solemn convention 
of contending chieftains, in which he acted as mediator between them ; and in which his counsels 
were heard with respect, and his decisions solicited, upon questions of the utmost importance, in 
which the interests and passions of powerful princes were vehemently enlisted. 3 This is not the 
course that would have been followed had Columba been an outlawed and a banished man : nor 
surely would Columba have been allowed to retain, as he confessedly did, his full power and au- 
thority over all his monasteries in Ireland, had his exile been a, penance, (whether self-imposed, or 
prescribed by another,) on account of notorious transgressions against the laws of God and man. 

The offence, for which this penalty is said to have been enjoined on Columba, is that of foment- 
ing wars and occasioning bloodshed in his native country. Keating, who adopts the theory that 
expatriation was " a sentence" pronounced upon St. Columba by Saint Lasrian, (otherwise called Mo- 
laise,) thus explains the grounds of it: " ]Sow, this was the cause why Molaise sentenced Colurn- 
cille to go into Alba," (i.e., Scotland ;) " because it came of him to occasion three battles in Erin : 
viz., the battle of Cul-Dreimhne, the battle of Rathan, and the battle of Feadha :" and he goes on 
to describe the cause and circurnstanees of each. "We need not enter upon the consideration of the 
last two engagements here spoken of : because it is demonstrable that, if fought at all, they must 
have taken place after the settlement of Columba in Hy,* and could not possibly enter into the 

_ r See the cita'ionsfrom the Life of St. Lasrian, (other- (Uladh) till the year 580, twenty-six years after the depar- 

wise called St Molaise of Devenish,) and O'JDonnell, in tare of Columba from Ireland ! The Annals do not men- 

the last two notes. tion this battle at all The other action, that of Cul- 

s The allusion is to the Great Convention of Druim- feadha, is recorded by Tighernach as having been fought 

ceatt. of which more hereafter. in the year 587, twenty-four years after that event. He 

^ * The battle of Rathain, or Cul -rathain, (now called attributes the success of the victor to the prayers of Co- 

Coleraine,) is said, in the Preface to a Hymn beginning lumba- It is very probable that the conquerors in such 

Altus I'romtor, (which is attributed to St- Columba,) to encouuters, and their posterity, would wish the idea to 

have been fought ' between him and St. Comgall, contend- go abroad that they always fought under the protection 

ing for the church of llos-torathair." However, other of so powerful an intercessor. But are we on that ac- 

anthorities represent the actual combatants as secular count to impute to Columba the blame of hostilities which 

chieftains; the two saints having only blown the trum- occurred while he was in another region, and occupied 

pets, as it were, on each side. But Fiachra, the leader on in quite a different description of enterprises? 
Comgall a side, did not become chief of his territory 


grounds of the supposed sentence. The battle of Cul-Dreimhnc, however, took place before the 
emigration of St. Columba, and may deserve a somewhat more detailed consideration. 

It occurred, according to the annals, in the year 561." The contending parties were, on the one 
side, Diarmait, son of Fergus Cerbhoil, King of Ireland, and on the other, Aedh, King of Con- 
naught, and his confederates, chiefs of Tyrconnell and Tyrone. The latter were victorious. The 
causes of the war, as stated by Keating, (and also by the Four Masters,) were two-fold -.first, the 
slaughter of Cuman, son to the king of Connaught, who was killed by Diarmait while under the 
protection of Columb-kille. This is the cause assigned in the Leahhar na h-Uidhre of Ciaran, a 
semi-bardic compilation, which is one of Kcating's authorities. The other cause, which he takes 
from the Black Book of Malaga, (a work of which Dr. Lanigan speaks very contemptuously,) is, 
that Diarmait had pronounced a false judgment in a case in which Columb-kille was a party. It is 
stated that the saint had borrowed a book from St. Tinman, and made a copy of it without the 
owner's knowledge. Finnian claimed the son-booh, or transcript, as his property : and Diarmait, 
who had been chosen umpire, decided in his favour, on the principle that " to every book belonged 
its own son-book, as to every cow her own calf." v The authors who adopt these legends as history 
leave it to be inferred that Columba, feeling himself aggrieved by the conduct of Diarmait, stirred 
up the chiefs of the Cincl-Conaill and Cinel-Eoghain to war. Some of the annalists ascribe the vic- 
tory which they obtained at Cul-Dreimhne, to the efficacy of his prayers ; and it is plainly im- 
plied that the fact of his having prayed for the success of his friends, and prevailed, was one of 
those which influenced his judges in pronouncing sentence upon him. But this may be unhesitatingly 
thrown aside : for, whatever may have been the state of religion in the sixtli century in Ireland, 
it is impossible to believe that any body of Christian ecclesiastics, or even of laymen, would condemn 
any man to a penance, because it had pleased the Almighty to hear his prayers ! The other grounds 
of censure are not more probable. Diarmait had put to death the son of the King of Connaught, 
under circumstances which would appear to have involved something of treachery, as well as im- 
piety, according to the ideas of the time : it would not require the instigation of St. Columba to 
induce the father to rush to arms to avenge his slaughtered son ; nor would the saint's influence be 
needed to prevail on him to seek the assistance of the race of Xiall in prosecuting the war. As to 
the story about the son-book it is simply ridiculous. The fathers of the [rish church were extremely 
anxious to multiply copies of the Scriptures and other sacred books; and, it' such a transaction had 
taken place, Finnian, instead of censuring Columba, would have applauded his zeal. Besides, if 
any such circumstance happened at all, the owner of the book must have been Finnian of Movilla : 
for Finnian of Clonard died at the very least nine years before the battle of Cul-Drciinhne. w 2\ow, 

" The Four Masters erroneously place it at A 1). 555 ; The whole of the passages referred to are given in 

the other annalists at 501. If the date affixed by the full by Dr Reeves. A damn. p. -18. &c. 

Four Masters be assumed as correct, the expulsion of The Annals of Iniiisfiillen fix the year 552 as that of 

Columb-kille must have been debyed till eight jears the death of Finnian of Clonard : and their authority is 

after the commission of his crime. preferred by Ussher, Ware, uud Lanigan, to that of the 


Finnian of Movilla was the early friend and instructor of Columba, and continued to maintain the 
most amicable relations with him till after the time fixed for this imaginary quarrel.* Add to this 
that the authorities in favour of all these stories are modern and of suspicious credit ; and that they 
contradict each other as to the person by whom the sentence was pronounced ; some making it to 
be the decision of an ecclesiastical tribunal ; some the penance imposed by a confessor ; others the 
self-pronounced sentence of the penitent himself; and we shall, perhaps, see reason to agree with 
Dr. Lanigan, "that this is not history, but poetry : and that there is scarcely a word of truth in it, 
except that such a battle was fought." 7 We agree with this eminently learned writer, that it is 
probable enough " that Columba prayed for the protection of his kinsmen and their subjects against 
the fury of Diamiait;" and that this may have excited the displeasure of the monarch and his 
partisans. It is certain that, for some cause or other, Columba, previously to his departure from 
Ireland, (but at what exact time is uncertain,) had incurred the disapprobation of several influential 
persons ; in so much that he was about to be excommunicated by a synod at Teilte, " for some venial 
and very excusable causes," as Adamnan assures us, " and not rightly, as appeared in the event." 
But St. Brendan of Birr, who was present at the meeting, having declared that he beheld " a pillar 
of five going before the man of God, and holy angels accompanying him across the plain on his way 
to the synod," the persons assembled not only desisted from going on with the excommunication, 
but treated Columba with the utmost respect and veneration. 1 It is quite uncertain to what period 
in the life of St. Columba this narrative relates ; but, if it has reference to the two years which fol- 
lowed the battle of Cul-Dreimhne, it puts an end at once to the stoiy of a penance being prescribed 
to St. Columba in any form ; " seeing that the sjmod acknowledged that he did not deserve any 
censurc." On the whole, it seems to us as futile as it is unnecessary to inquire for other causes of 
Columba' s removal to the "Western Isles of Scotland than that which the earliest and best authori- 
ties ascribe to him ; namely, a desire to spread Christianity among the inhabitants of that then pagan 
and benighted region. He had been eminently successful as a herald of the faith in his own land : 
lie now determined to devote his life to the conversion and civilization of the heathen tribes who 
were settled within sight of his native hills. 

To us it appears highly probable that the whole story of Columb-kiUe having been exiled on ac- 

Four Masters, who state it to have happened AD. 548: c. 4, p. 195-0. It is of little consequence to the present 

both dates are irreconcileable with the account of the bat- argument whether the last sentence refers to the first 

tie of Cul-dreimhne, (which was fought in 561,) as having voyage of Columba to Britain, or to some subsequent oc- 

arisen out of a quarrel between Finnian of Clonard and casion of crossing the sea : in either case, it shows that 

Columba. _ the Finnian spoken of could not be the Finnian of 

v Alio in tempore, yir sanctus venerandum episcopum Clonard, who was dead, at the very least, fifteen years 

Finnionem, suum videlicet magistrum, juvenis senem before the emigration of Columb-kille. It also shows 

adiit : quern cum sanctus Finnioad se appropinquantem that up till that very time Columba and Finnian of Mo- 

vidisset, angelum Domini pariter ejus comitem itineris villa were on terms of mutual friendship : and that Fin- 

vidit : etut nobis ah expertis traditur, quibusdam as- nian professed for Columba the utmost veneration. The 

tantibus intimavit fratribus, inquieus, " Ecce nunc vi- term "juvenis" seems to be applied to the saint, (who 

deatis sanctum advenientem Columbam, qui sui com- was now at least forty-two years of age,) merely by way 

meatus meruit Inhere socium angelum ceelicolam." of contrast to the venerable age of Finnian. 

l/adnn iliebus, Sanctus, cum duodceim commilitonibus 148. 

diseipulis, ad Britanniam transnavi-avit Aihimn. l.iii. * Adamn. 1. iii. c. 3, p. !02-4. 


count of the battle of Cul-dreimhne, is owing to the simple fact of Adamnan having mentioned that 
the arrival of the saint in Scotland and the erection of the monastery at Hy took place two years 
after that battle was fought." This he has done manifestly for the purpose of fixing the date of 
the latter event, by referring it to another which was well known in Irish history, and duly recorded 
in the annals of the kingdom ; but subsequent writers connected the two events together, as cause 
and effect. The story about the son-hook, which is said to have led to the battle, is easily explained. 
There was, among the Cinel-Conaill, the tribe to which Columba belonged, a book, containing a 
copy of the Psalms, said to have been written by the hand of the saint ; which, in after times, was 
enclosed in a curiously wrought silver shrine, and was held to be of such marvellous sanctity that, 
if carried three times from right to left round the warriors of the tribe, on the eve of an engage- 
ment, it ensured to them the victory over their enemies. Hence it was called the Cathach ; which 
may be translated, the Battle-look. h But the more recent historians of Columba, who werealready 
imprcssed with the notion that he was a stirrer up of feuds and dissensions, overlooking the real 
ground of this designation, explained it as given to the book on account of its having been the cause 
of the battle in which the saint had, as they supposed, borne a part. Thus we can not only show 
that the legend was positively untrue, but easily and naturally account for its origin. 

Agreeably to the customs of the age, and to his own practice on previous occasions at home, he 
commenced his undertaking by founding a monastery ; and the place which he chose for its site was 
the small and then uninhabited island of Hy, or I, afterwards called Iona, or, from his own name, 
I-Columb-kille. It is about three miles long by one or one-and-a-half in breadth ; and lies at the 
distance of an English mile to the south-west of the island of Mull. It was in the bounds of the 
Pictish kingdom ; yet not so far from the Scottish or Dalriadic territory as to prevent the occupants 
from receiving aid, in case of need, from their kinsmen and fellow Christians of that region. Columba 
was accompanied by twelve companions, the normal retinue of a mediaeval missionary. It is said 
that he obtained a grant of the island from the king of the Scottish colony : d a concession from 

* Adamn. Prcef. Ida. p. 9 : also, 1. i. c. 6, p. 31. 112. . . . The character and condition of the MS. 

b " The hook which St. Columba is said to have tran- are indicative of extreme old age. hut it is questionable 
scribed from St. Finnian's original, is the copy of the whether it is in the handwriting of the saint himself." 
Psalms, which forms, with its silver ease, the ancient Dr. Reeves; A damn Add. Note, 15: p. 249, 250. 
reliquary called the Cathach, of which O'Donnell gives c Adamn. 1. iii. c. 4: (already cited in note x si/pra.J- 
this curious account : ' Now the Cathach is the name of Dr. Reeves gives a long list of saints, who in their 
the hook on account of which the battle was fought, and church-building and missionary undertakings set out 
it is the chief relic of Columb-cille in the territory of the with twelve companions- {Adamn Add. Note I. p. 22!) 
Cinel Conaill Oulban : it is covered with silver under &c.) He also gives the names of the twelve companions 
gold : and it is not lawful to open it ; and if it be sent of Columba : (Add, Note A. p. 245,) with all the par- 
thrice round the army of the Cinel Conaill ticulars of their history that it is now possible to ascer- 
when they are going to battle, they will return safe with tain. 

victory ; and it is on the breast of a comhorbaor a cleric, d The Annals of Ulster and of Tighernaeh ascribe the 

who is to the best of his power free from mortal sin, that donation of Hy to the generosity of Conall, king of the 

the Cathach should be, when brought round the army.'" Dalriadic Scots in Caledonia : on the other hand Bede 

The Cathach is still in existence, and in the possession of refers it to the liberality of King Brudeus and the Picts : 

the O'Donnell family. " A drawing of the cover is given (His. /></. 1. iii. e.4.) and territorial considerations lend 

in Betham's 'Antiquarian Researches,' vol. i., p. 109; strength to this statement. It is, however, deserving of 

and a fac-siinile of four lines of the enclosed MS., ib. p. note that he makes the grant subsequent to the conversion 


Brudcus, the Pictisli king, is also mentioned, but this could only have been made subsequently to the 
conversion of Brudeus to Christianity. He was at first quite unfriendly to the Gospel. When he 
hoard that Columba was approaching his fortress, he ordered the gates to be closed ; but, at the sign 
of the cross, made by the fingers of the saint, and a slight blow from his hand, they flew open : and 
the king then paid remarkable attention to the unbidden guest. e Soon afterwards he embraced the 
Christian faith. The Magi (so Adamnan calls the priests of the Pictish religion) tried all their arts 
to prevent the missionaries from preaching to the people. AVhen other means failed, they endea- 
voured once to drown the voice of Columba by noise and shouting ; but the saint, determined to 
frustrate their wiles, immediately commenced chanting the 45 th Psalm ; and, his voice rising into 
the air, was reverberated like thunder from the clouds, so that the king and people were struck with 
fright and consternation. f Manifold were the miracles which Columba is said to have wrought 
during the progress of his mission in Caledonia in truth, they are too many for the occasion ; there 
are few readers vrho would not have felt grateful to his biographers had they spared the recital of 
many which they have recorded. Among the rest we are told that " after prayer upon his bended 
knees, he brought back to life the son of a certain person of humble rank, after he had been dead, 
and his exequies celebrated ; and restored him to his father and mother." 5 

In the pi-osecution of his mission, he appears to have visited almost every part of the dominions 
of the .Northern Picts, comprehending the whole of modern Scotland to the North and North-West 
of the Grampians, and likewise the Western Isles. It is certain that he found this wide region 
heathen, and that he left it, at least nominally, Christian. He is said to have penetrated even to the 
Orkneys, and to have formed cells (as churches were then denominated) in that remote region. Many 
of these parts he visited oftcner than once ; and wherever he penetrated, he built churches, founded 
monasteries, and established religious teachers. 11 It is to be regretted that his enterprises in this 
spiritual warfare are only expressed to us in general terms, so that it is not possible to trace his 
progress chronologically, nor even to identify, in all cases, the scenes of his labours ; but we know 
enough to be able to assert that no part of Pict-land was left unvisited by himself or his emissaries ; 
and that in almost every place to which he came he left the traces of his presence in the churches 
which he erected, the religious institutions which he set on foot, and the conversion of whole tribes 

of Hie VirJs- " Qurc videlicet insula,'' (i.e. Jona,) " ad given is prolix and circumstantial: though the story of 
jus quidem Britanniae ptrtinet, non mugno ab ea freto Cumiueus, on which that in Adamnan is founded, is very 
discreta, sod donatione Pietorum qui illas Britannite brief. *' Post genuflexionem quoque et orationeiu sur- 
plagas incolunt, jamdudum monachis Scottoruna tradita, gens, in nomine Domini, mortuum cujusdam plebei filium 
eo quod illas prsedicantibus lidem Christi pereeperint." suscitavit; et post celebratas exequias, patri et matri 
(His. Eccl. 1. iii. e 3) Both accounts were probably reddidit." {Vita S. Col. c. 22. ap. Colgan.) "The de- 
true. The island was uninhabited: Columba and his tails in Adamnan are evidently told in imitation of 
comrades settled in it, under the protection of the Matt, ix 24, and the parallel passages." Dr. Reeves, 
neighbouring chieftain Conall ; and. on the conversion A damn. p. 140. n.) 

of Brudeus, received a fresh title from the paramount b Dr. Reeves has collected the names of thirty-two 

lords of the soil. places in the district of the Soots in Britain, and twenty- 

Adman 1. if c. 35. p. 151-2. one in that of the Northern Picts, including some in the 

1 A damn. 1. i c. 37 : p. 73-4. Orkneys, where the memory of Columb-kille was spe- 

sAaamn. 1. ii. c. 32. p. 145-G The account there cially revered. A damn. Add. Note H. pp. 289-298- 


and multitudes to the Christian faith. His principal establishments, however, were those on the 
islands of lona, of Tiree (Terra Ethica 1 ) in its neighbourhood, and of Hinba, the locality of 
which is undetermined. He had also establishments in the island of Skye, and in many other 
places. But he did not confine his labours to the Picts. The Scots of Britain, who were his 
countrymen, and with whose royal family he was closely allied by birth, occupied a portion of his 
care. k He planted several monasteries among them ; among the rest one near Loch- Awe, in Argyle- 
shire, in which he placed one of his monks, named Cailten, as prior. 1 He visited also the territory 
of the Christian Britons in Strath-Clyde, and appears to have kept up some degree of intercourse 
even with the south-eastern parts of North- Britain that were occupied by the Anglo-Saxon pagans. 
At least we find, in the latter years of his life, some Anglo-Saxons at Hy ; ra and, it is highly pro- 
bable, that these were converts whom he had made in his journeys into the districts in which they 
had settled. Over all his institutions, in Ireland as well as in North Britain, Columba exercised a 
fatherly oversight, often sending messengers to visit, inspect, and regulate those that were at con- 
siderable distances from him ; going to them himself when necessary ; and receiving letters and mes- 
sengers from time to time, sent to inform him of the state of the communities, and especially 
to request his advice in all cases of difficulty. He was remarkable for his attention to strangers ; 
receiving all persons, of whatever country or condition, who came to him, with kindness and a 
decent hospitality. It may be added that his monasteries were not only religious houses, but 
seats of learning ; and that their inmates, when not engaged in their spiritual duties, employed 
themselves either in copying the Scriptures and other religious books, or in agriculture, and in the 
useful labours which were needful for their own support." They appear even to have erected the 
churches, and other buildings which they occupied, with their own hands. 

Great was the influence which Columba acquired in the scene of his labours in North Britain. 

i The island of Tiree is situated to the North West it but for a prophetic message of Columba to Cailten, 

of lona, at the distance of about twenty miles; it is desiring him to come to lona in all haste He did v. 

much the larger island of the two, being nearly eleven and was informed that he was to die within a week : 

miles long, and varying in breadth from one to three which he did of course ! 

miles ; and though low and sandy is fertile ; whence it m Two of them are mentioned in Adamnan. One was 
seems to have derived its name : (Tir-ith, " the Land of Generous, a baker : (1. iii. c. 10:) the other was called 
barley.") It contained two monasteries in the time of Pilu: (1. iii. c. 22.) It must be remembered that, at the 
Columb-kille, one at Arletrain, (Adamn- p. 66, in the times of which we are treating, the mission of Augustine 
Title to R. i. eh. 36 :) founded by Findchanus, a pres- to the Anglo-Saxons had not commenced ; and that the 
byter, supposed to be an associate of St. Columba; the Britons, according to Bede and Gildas, never had coin- 
other in Magh-Lunge, (Campus Lunge,) over which municated the Gospel to that people ; hence a strong 
Baithen presided, who was undoubtedly one of the com- probability that these men had been converted by Co- 
panions of the saint : and who succeeded him as Abbot lumba himself, or his emissaries- 

of Hy. To these ecclesiastical establishments many u Dr. Reeves gives in his Appendix an Additional Note, 

others were afterwards added : of which a full account N: (p. 334-339:) which is in fact a copious and most 

has been given by l)r, Reeves, in the pages of this interesting Dissertation, entitled Institutia Hi/ensis, in 

Journal, vol. ii. pp. 233-244. which every part of the system, order, and discipline 

l; The territory of the Scots then nearly coincided pursued at Hy, is accurately discussed. We are sorry 

with the modern county of Argyle. that our limits prevent us from attempting an analysis 

I A damn. 1. i. c. 31. p. 60. We assume, with Dr. of its contents : but they ought to be carefully studied 

Reeves, that thejiumen Aim of the text, is the river by every person who wishes to understand the cecono- 

which forms Loch Awe. We should not have heard of my of an Irish monastery in the sixth century. 


Of this we have an instance in the fact of his being selected to inaugurate Aidan, who, upon the 
death of Conall, was elected king of the Scottish or Irish colony in North Britain. The saint would 
have declined the honour ; indeed his own wishes were in favour of Eogenan, the brother of 
Aidan ; but being repeatedly commanded, in nocturnal visions, to inaugurate the chieftain ap- 
pointed by the tribe, he complied, and the consecration took place on the island of Hy. The form 
of consecration was read out of " a glass book ;" perhaps a parchment, framed and glazed, on which 
the formula was written. This is said to be the earliest recorded example of the inauguration of a 
king in Christian times ; but, from the mention of a book, the usage would appear to be of a 
still more ancient date among the Irish or Scottish people. 

Passing over many incidents wliich are either trivial, incredible, or of more than doubtful au 
thority, we come to an event which makes a considerable figure in the life of St. Columba, and 
indeed in the history of the times, the convention of Druim-ceatt, held in the year 575, as stated 
by Dr. Reeves, though other authorities place it sixteen years later. It is a striking example of 
the wretched manner of writing ecclesiastical history that prevailed in the seventh century, that, 
although Adamnan mentions the convention at Druim-ceatt and the presence of Columba at it, he 
does not give us the slightest information respecting the occasion of the meeting, the persons of 
whom it consisted, the form of their deliberations, or the decision at which they arrived ! All that 
he says about it is contained in the recital of two prophecies wliich were then delivered, and a short 
chapter of six lines, entitled, " Of the cures of diverse diseases which were effected at Dorsum Ceate" 
that is Druim-ceatt. p We arc therefore compelled to have recourse to such authorities as the "semi- 

" <^t another time when the venerable Columba was nals of Ulster in A.D 574: by the Annals of Clonmac- 
on a visit in the island of Hinba, he one night saw in a noise in 587: but Colgan, O'Flaherty, and Lanigan have 
trancean angel of the Lord sent to him, who held in his assigned 590 as its date. The place where it was held 
hand the Glass Book of the Inauguration of the Kings ; is fixed by O'Donnell as in the region of Ciannaehta 
which the venerable man, at the desire of the angel, Glen-geimhin, now the barony of Kenaght in the County 
took from his hand, and began to read. And when he of Londonderry ; and is described as a pleasant mound, 
refused to inaugurate Aidan as king, according to the on the banks of the river Roe, not far from the point 
forms contained in that book, because he liked his where it ceases to be affected by the tide. " The precise 
brother Eogenan better, the angel suddenly put forth spot where the assembly was held, is the long mound in 
his hand and struck the saint with a whip: the livid Roe Park, near Newtownlimavady, called the Mullagh, 
mark of which remained on his side all the days of his and sometimes Daisy Hill." {Br. Reeves, Adamn p. 37. 
life: and he added, ' Know for certain that I have been n.) Adamnan mentions the assembly as the occasion on 
sent to thee by God with the Glass Book, that thou which Columba delivered a prediction, that Domhnall, 
mayest inaugurate Aidan as kins, according to the words son ot Aedh, the king of Ireland, should survive all his 
wliich thou hast read in it : and if thou refuse to comply brothers, become a famous king, should never fall into 
with this second command, I will smite thee again.' So the hands of his enemies, and should die in old age, in 
when this angel of the Lord had appeared on three sue- his own house, and on his own bed ; which happened 
cessive nights, holding the same Glass Book in his hand, accordingly. (1. i. c. 10.) He made a somewhat similar 
and had repeated the injunction respecting the inaugu- prediction," at the same place, concerning Scanlan, son 
ration of the king, the Saint, in obedience to the word of of Colman, who was then a prisoner in the hands of 
the Lord, crossed over into Hy, and there, as he had Aedh: which it is needless to repeat. (I. i. c p. 38, 39.) 
been commanded, inaugurated Aidan as king, who ar- The brief chapter alluded to in the text, is here trans- 
rived about the same time. Whilst repeating the words lated entire. " Concerning the cures of Diverse Disuses, 
of inauguration, he prophesied of things yet to come, which were effected at Drumceatt. This man of exemplary 
concerning his sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons : life, (as it hath been handed down to us from those who 
and putting his hand upon his head, whilst inaugurating, had personal knowledge of the facts.) during the days 
he blessed him.'' Adamn. 1. iii. c 3. p. 197-8. " on which he remained for a short time at Drumceatt on 
p The convention of Druimceatt is placed by the An- his journey to the convention of kings, healed the infir- 


bardic" Leahhar na N UidJire, O'Donnell, and Keating, whose statements are not very clear, not very- 
consistent, and not very trustworthy. It would, nevertheless, appear probable that the convention 
consisted of the monarch, the provincial sovereigns, and the heads of religious houses in Ireland; and 
that it Avas held for the purpose of deciding some points which were at issue between Aedh, king 
of Ireland, and Aidan, king of the Dalriadic settlement in North Britain. It would seem as if the 
king of Erin had claimed supremacy over the Scoto-Irish colony in Caledonia; on the same principle, 
perhaps, as that on which his predecessor, Diarmait, is said to have adjudged the possession of the 
" son-book" to St. Finnian, that " to every cow belongs her own calf ;" while, on the contrary, 
Aidan, having now become a monarch in another country, not only maintained his right to be an 
independent sovereign, but asserted a claim to the dominion of the ancient Dalriadic province in the 
north of Ireland, of which he and his family were the hereditary chiefs. q The matter was referred 
to the decision of St. Columba. Perhaps the abbot of Hy in Scotland, and of Durrow (Dair-magh) 
iind Deny in Erin, was unwilling to provoke the hostility of either party by an adverse decision. 
At all events, he referred the case to Colman the son of Conigellan, who awarded that the Scottish 
3 )ulriada should be an independent monarchy ; that the Irish Dalriads should be bound to follow the 
kings of Erin in then wars and hostings, but should pay tax and tribute to the Icing of Alba.' If 
this decision was actually pronounced, the latter part of it was never fulfilled. It is further stated 
in a " semi-bardic composition," the Abhra Choluim-cille, contained in the Leabliar na K Uidhre, that 
one object of the assemblage was to procure the banishment of the bards and "Antiquaries," who 
had scandalously abused their privileges ; but that Columba prevailed on the monarchs to be con- 
tent with limiting their number, curtailing their "j)oetic licenses," and restricting their emolu- 
ments. 8 Dr. Lanigan accepts this as history : we concur with Dr. llceves in attaching to it but 
little weight. It seems very like a device of a bard, in later times, to shelter himself and his order 
under the mantle of Columb-kille and the royal robes of a whole congress of princes and kings. 

Adamnan informs us that Columba remained but a short time at Druim-ceatt ; and, though he 
gives few particulars, leads us to believe that he made no long stay in Ireland on this occasion. 1 
It is highly probable that he took the opportunity of visiting the churches and monasteries which 
he had founded in his native land ; remedying abuses, if such existed, and encouraging his com- 
munities to persevere in the good works which they had undertaken. It is to this period of his life 

initios of various sick persons, by invoking the name of r See the authorities cited by Dr. Reeves, ubi supra. 

Christ. For, either by stretching forth his holy hand, This account " is given in the prefaces to that somi- 

or by ttie aspersion of water blessed by him, or by the bardic composition, the Amhra Choluim-cille ; and is to be 

touch of the hem of his garment, or by the blessing of found at full length in Keating's account of the conven- 

something such as salt or bread, received from the saint tion at Druimceatt" (Reei'es, Adamn- p- 80. note ) 

and dipped in water, those who believed, received their '"Once upon a time when the holy man after the 

perfect health." (L. ii. c 6'. p. 113) The idea of these congress of the kin^s at Druim-Ceatt was returning to 

miracles is borrowed from Actsiii.,6 ; v. 15; xix. 12, &c. the watery plains," &c (L. i. c. 4!). p. 92.) This would 

'i For a full account of the political causes which are seem to imply, that he set out on his return to Hy soon 

stated to have led to this celebrated convention, we refer after the congress was concluded: though the "length 

to Dr. Reeves's Note e, on Adamn-, 1. i. c. 49 : p. 92, Sec. of his visit to his native land is not specitied. 


that we arc disposed to refer his interview with Alithir of Clon-macnoise," as well as those with 
Comgall of Bangor/ and Bishop Conall of Coleraine ; which are placed at this date by the historian. 
The latter entertained Columba at a public banquet, having collected almost innumerable contribu- 
tions for the purpose from the people of the country." Of these interviews we have few particulars ; 
but it would seem that the saint was everywhere received with the respect due to his distinguished 
character and services. 

After his return to Hy, and exactly thirty years after his first arrival in that island, an epoch 
which he had often prayed might be that of his departure from life, he received an announcement 
from heaven in a vision, that his presence on earth was required for four years longer, at the end of 
which time he would be removed to the heavenly world. 1 He spent the interval in the same exer- 

u Alithir was the fourth abbot of Clonmacnoise, having 
succeeded Mac Nessie, who died June 12th, 585: after 
which time the interview must have taken place, which 
is thus described by Adamnan. " Once upon a time, 
the blessed man, remaining by divine permission some 
months in the interior of Ireland, whilst regulating the 
monastery that in Irish is called Dair-Magh, was pleased 
to visit the brethren of St. Kieran's monastery of Clon- 
macnoise, As soon as his arrival was announced, all 
the monks assembling from the farms near the convent, 
together with those that were in it, following their 
abbot Alithir with all alacrity, went forth to meet St. 
Columba, beyond the rampart of the monastery, as if 
he had been an angel of the Lord ; and bowing their 
faces to the ground at sight of him, he was kissed by 
them with all reverence. Singing psalms and hymns, 
they conducted him in honoured procession to their 
church ; and constructing a canopy of wood for the 
saint as he walked, they caused it to be supported by 
four men, moving with equal steps, lest the aged Co- 
lumba might be inconvenienced by the pressure of that 
multitude of brethren. At that very hour, a young 
domestic, contemptible in face and dress, and not much 
in favour with the superiors, came behind Columba as 
secretly as he could, that he might touch if it were but 
the hem of his garment, without his knowing or per- 
ceiving it. But this was not hidden from the saint ; for 
the thing which, being done behind him, he could not 
s >e with the eyes of his body, he discovered by those of 
the spirit. Therefore stopping short of a sudden, and 
reaching his hand behind him, he catches the boy by 
the neck, and pulling him forward, places him before 

his face He then says to the trembling lad, 

' Put forth thy tongue !'.... and says, ' Though 
this boy be now so contemptible, let no one despise him : 
for from this hour .... he will greatly please 
you ; and advancing each day in learning and know- 
ledge, he will be a great man in your congregation,' " 
&c, &c. This was St Ernan; who told the story to 
Segineus in the hearing of Failbe: by the latter it was 
communicated, along with some other wonderful facts, 
to Adamnan. (L. i. c. 3, pp. 23-25.) If this visit did not 
take place at or after the congress of Druim-ceatt, it 
implies a second voyage of Columba to Ireland, after 
his settlement in Hy ; for Alithir did not become Abbot 
till long after the last-named epoch, 

v " Once upon a time, when the holy man after the 
conference of the kings, Aedh, the son of Ainmire, and 
Aidan, the son of Gabran, at Druim-ceatt, was returning 
to the watery plains, he and the abbot Comgell" [of Ban- 
gor] " were seated one fine day not far from the fortress 
of Dun-Cethern," [now called the Giant's sconce, near 
Coleraine, in the County of Londonderry,] "and water 
was brought in a vessel of bronze, from a neighbouring 
spring, to wash the hands of the saints. When St Co- 
lumba had received it, he says to the abbot Comgell who 
was sitting beside him, ' Comgell, a day will come 
when this spring, from which this water has been brought 
to us, will no longer be no longer fit for man's use, . . . 
for it will be filled with human blood ; for my kinsmen 
and friends, and yours, according to the flesh, the Hy- 
Niall and the Cruithnians,' [i.e., the Irish Picts of Dala- 
radia in the County of Down and the southern part of 
Antrim,] ' will wage battle in this neighbouring fortress 
of Dnn-Cethern; anil a certain man of my race will be 
slain in the aforesaid spring, with whose blood and that 
of others the well of the spring will be filled.' And this 
true prophecy was fulfilled after many years," &c, &c. 
( Adamn. 1. i. c 49, p. 92 96.) This anecdote shows that 
Adamnan knew nothing of any quarrel between Comgell 
and Columba. 

w This interview, like the former, Adamnan dates as 
happening immediately after the conference at Druim- 
ceatt. (L. i. c. 50 : pp- 97-99.) It is mentioned to intro- 
duce the fact that St. Columba was enabled propheti- 
cally to know and describe the character of each contri- 
butor, and to impose upon him a suitable penance for 
his besetting sin, of whatsoever nature it was, by simply 
looking at the articles which he had furnished for the 

x Adamnan relates that once in the island of Tly, the 
holy face of Columba beamed with joy and rapture ; then 
suddenly became overcast with sadness- Two persons, 
Lugneus Mocublai and Pilu a Saxon, who witnessed the 
change, inquired the cause ; to whom, after exacting a 
promise of secrecy daring his life-time, the saint ex- 
plained : " This day, thrice ten years are completed 
since my settlement in Britain : and often during that 
time have I devoutly asked of God that at the end of this 
thirtieth year he would release me from my pilgrimage 
and call me to the heavenly land. And the cause of my 
gladuess was that I saw the angels sent from the throne 


cises and occupations to which he had devoted his previous years. On the day which preceded his 
departure, he went forth to bless the barn of the monastery ; and, seeing two heaps of grain, he 
expressed his joy, that in case of his being obliged to leave the brethren, they were likely to have 
sufficiency for another twelvemonth. His attendant (who was called Diermit) began to remon- 
strate with Columba for his frequent allusions to his decease, at that period of the year ; to whom 
he communicated, under promise of secrecy till after his departure, that the approaching night was 
to be the last of his existence upon earth. " This day," he said, " is called in the sacred volumes, 
the Sabbath, which signifies 'rest' and truly it is a sabbath to me, because it is to me the last of 
this present toilsome life, and that on which I am to rest after all my troubles and labours ; for in 
the middle of this venerable Sunday night which is approaching/ according to the testimonies of 
the Scriptures, I go the way of the Fathers. For now my Lord Jesus Christ deigns to invite me, 
to whom I shall depart as I have said, in the middle of this night, on his own invitation ; for so it 
has been revealed to me by the Lord himself." As he returned towards the monastery he sat down 
to rest on a spot on which a cross was afterwards erected : (it was standing in the time of Adam- 
nan : ) while there, a white horse belonging to the monastery, to which Columba had doubtless been 
a kind and considerate master, approached him, thrust his head into the saiut's bosom, and caressed 
him with unusual manifestations of affection. The attendant would have driven him away, but 
Columba would not permit the faithful creature to be prevented from indulging his feelings ; and 
expressed his opinion that the Creator had by some means made it known to the dumb animal that 
it was soon to lose its aged owner. When the steed withdrew, the saint pronounced a blessing on 
the grateful and faithful creature. 1 Removing to a slight eminence which overhung bis monastery, 
he stopped for a moment on its summit ; and lifting up his hands, he blessed the convent, predict- 
ing that the place, though then small and poor, would be held in veneration not only by the kings 
and tribes of Ireland, but of foreign and barbarous nations ; yea, by the saints of otber chiu'ches. 
Returning to the monastery, he sat down in his private apartment, and occupied himself in tran- 
scribing a copy of the Psalms, in Latin ; and having written the words " Tliey that seek the Lord 
shall not want any good thing" (Psalm xxxiv. 10,) he said " Here I must stop at the foot of the 
page ; let Eaithen write what follows."" The saint soon after attended evening service in the 

on high to carry away ray soul from the flesh. But be- calculation is followed, according to which each day corn- 
hold, now, having made a sudden halt, they are standing menced and ended at sunset : the Sabbath embraces the 
on the ruck beyond the frith, desirous to come nigh, to period from sun-set on Friday till sun-set on Saturday ; 
summon me from the body ; but they arc not permitted and the evening and night which succeeds Saturday is 

-for the Lord, though he had granted my earnest counted as part of the Lord's Day. " The practice of 

prayer that I should pass from this world to him this calling the Lord's Day the Sabbath commenced about 

very day, hath, this instant, changed his purpose, lis- a thousand years after this date." (Br. Reeves, Adamn. 

tening rather to the prayers of many churches on my p. 230, n) 

account. To whom... he hath granted that, though z We could not refrain from embodying this incident 

against my own will, four years more of continuance in in our brief narrative, because it seems to intimate very 

the ilesh are to be added to my life," &c. &c (Adamn. expressively Columba 's kindness of heart. " The righ- 

1 iii. c- 22, pp 227-8.) teous man regardeth the life of his beast" 

y'lt is almost superfluous to point out that, in the de- * This MS- of the Psalms is no longer to be found. 

signalions of time which are here employed, the Jewish The " Cathach, ' already described, was once supposed 


church ; whence he returned to his cell, and sat for the remainder of the night on his stone couch, 
delivering to Dicrmit some parting admonitions to the brethren ; exhorting them to preserve mu- 
tual and unfeigned love and peace ; promising them, if they adhered to his counsels, the help of 
God, the benefit of his own intercession, and not only an abundance of all things needful for tho 
present life, but the reward of eternal blessedness prepared for the observers of the commandments 
of God. When his last hour drew nigh, the Saint became silent ; but at the sound of the mid- 
night bell he arose in haste, made his way to the church, at which he arrived sooner than any of 
the brethren, and threw himself on his knees in prayer, near the altar. Dicrmit, his attendant, 
who had followed him slowly, afterwards declared that he saw from a distance the whole interior 
of the church filled with a supernatural light, which, however, disappeared the moment he ap- 
proached the gate, but not before it had been seen by some others of the monks, who were also 
standing at some distance. Dicrmit entering the church, exclaimed in a tone of sorrow, " "Where 
art thou, my father?" And, before lights could be brought, groping in the dark, he found the 
holy man sunk on the ground before the altar. He raised him up a little, and sitting beside him, 
placed his head on his own bosom. The monks entering with candles, and seeing their venerable 
father at the point of death, began to utter loud lamentations ; but Columba, opening his eyes, 
looked around with an expression of the utmost happiness and joy ; " doubtless," says Adamnan, 
"beholding the holy angels sent from heaven to meet him." With Diermit's help he raised his 
right hand, and by a gentle movement signified the blessing to his brethren which his lips were 
unable to pronounce ; and instantly breathed his last. b His death took place on Sunday, the 9th 
of June, A.D. 597, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. 

We have left ourselves no room to discuss the character and the services of Columb-kille ; and 
indeed the reader of the foregoing pages will be at no loss to perceive that we place a very high 
estimate on both. It is evident that he was a man of indefatigable perseverance in the discharge 
of the solemn duties to which he had consecrated his life ; that he pursued them amidst difficulties, 
dangers, and anxieties, under winch he never sunk for one moment ; that he led a life of the utmost 
self-denial ; and, having given himself up to what he regarded as the work and call of God, he 
fainted not, nor " was wearied in well-doing." It is evident that his efforts were most successful 
in the confirmation of the faith where it was already professed, and in its diffusion among heathens 
and idolaters. In Ireland he laboured among a nominally Christian people : but, although the 
whole kingdom had been won over to the profession of the Gospel through the labours of Saint 
Patrick and his companions, it is no impeachment of the zeal of those illustrious missionaries, nor 
any denial of their wonderful success, to believe, as we do, that in many parts of our native land 
Christianity was as yet professed without being heartily believed ; and that many vestiges of hca- 

to be the last MS. written by the hand of Columb-kille ; b These particulars of Columba's latter end are copied, 

but the whole is in one hand-writing, and the passage and almost literally translated from Adamnan. (L- iii. c. 
here spoken of does not close a page- 23. pp. 228-242-) 


thenism both in matters of opinion and practice, still lingered among the people. The institutions 
founded by Columba must have tended greatly to banish these remains of pagan superstition. 
Wherever he planted a monastery, there was a missionary institute, whence Christian ministers 
went forth to instruct the ignorant, convince the doubting, confirm the wavering, and refute the 
gainsaying ; and to help forward, by the strenuous inculcation of the precepts of religion, the prac- 
tice of the virtues which Christianity enjoins. In these sacred asylums, many, wearied with the 
anxieties and the crimes of greatness, found refuge not merely from their outward enemies but 
from their own bad passions ; and were induced to dedicate to the service of humanity those ener- 
gies which had hitherto been devoted to war, violence, and ambition. In these seminaries alike of 
religion and literature, the young were instructed in the arts which civilize and refine the nature 
of man ; books were read, studied, copied, and multiplied ; c and provision was made for the supply 
of the spiritual wants of the coming generation. Even in Ireland, and among the Dalriadic Scots 
of North Britain, such labours must have had a most beneficial influence. Still more marked, 
however, was the benefit which Columba and his associates conferred on the heathen inhabitants of 
Caledonia, for whose good he abandoned his native country, and exposed himself to the disasters 
and dangers which could not fail to attend on missionary enterprise among such a people as the 
Picts then were. He must have gone forth each day to his spiritual labours among them " with 
his life in his hand ;" and the success which attended his exertions shows the prudence and wis- 
dom, as well as the zeal, with which they must have been conducted. The whole north and north- 
west of Scotland owes to him its conversion to the Christian faith. If any remains of Paganism 
were left which he had not himself been able to extirpate, they were speedily rooted out by the 
efforts of his companions and followers, whom he had stationed in various parts that they might 
complete an undertaking which exceeded the powers of any single man ; and who laboured in his 
own spirit and after his OAvn example. He found the Pictish people a race of barbarous pagans : 
he left them a Christianised, and, in some degree at least, a Christian people. After the time of Co- 
lumba, we hear little or nothing of heathenism as existing among the Picts. Nor is it probable 
that the Anglo-Saxons of the eastern coast of North Britain were excluded from a share of his 
anxieties and labours ; though circumstances of which the essential difference of language was 
probably one appear to have rendered his personal success among them less conspicuous. His 
successors in Iona, it is well known, were the instruments of converting the whole of the Anglo- 
Saxons north of the. Humber to the profession of the Gospel. d 

< The literary services of the monastic institutions of Hy took refuse from the Danes. We hope to see a 

can scarcely be over-estimated. To them we owe the description of these beautiful Codices in the pages of this 

transcription, and in many cases the preservation, of the Journal. 

ancient writings, both sacred and profane, on which all d Aidan, the apostle of the Northumbrians, whoso 

our modern civilization turns as on a hinge. Columba kingdom extended from the Humber to the Frith of 

was a famous copyist: and two of the most beautiful Forth, was an Irishman, and a monk of Hy. Dima the 

existing A1SS. of the Scriptures were made in his monas- first bishop of the .Middle Anglians and Mercians, and his 

tery of Durrow, and that of Kclls, in which the monks successor Ceollach, were also Irishmen ; the latter cer- 


That his character was free from faults, we do not assert, nor do we believe. The venerable Bede 
appears to express himself with doubt as to his claim to some at least of the graces of Christian life :* 
though perhaps he did not mean to convey the unfavourable surmise which his words have been 
supposed to intimate. The most common charge made against him, is that of a tendency to vindic- 
tiveness ; a charge to which Dr. Keeves lends the high sanction of his name. f With a scholar so 
candid and so accomplished, we own ourselves as unwilling as we are incompetent to cope in con- 
troversy on such a point ; but it appears to us that the charge rests on insufficient grounds. The 
facts by which it is supported are, in every case that we can call to mind, miraculous legends. A 
slight is put on Columb-kille by some one during his life or after his death ; the saint intercedes 
with God, to inflict signal and summary vengeance on the persons who have failed to treat him with 
proper respect; and instantly they are visited with sudden death or some other direful calamity. 
Adamnan, O'Donnell, and oral tradition, are the vouchers of these facts. We presume Dr. Reeves 
will concur with us in rejecting the miraculous part of these narratives. It is, indeed, incon- 
ceivable that God should work miracles to gratify the malice of Columba, or of any man. But if 
the legend be rejected, what becomes of the imputation on the character of the saint ? 

Here we feel ourselves impelled to say a few words with reference to the biographies in 
which these legends are found. Did their authors believe the stories which they record ? or did 
they, disbelieving them themselves, nevertheless desire to impose them on the credulity of posterity ? 
And first we must advert to the rules for composing history which were followed by those writers 
whom the biographers of Columba, and the authors of the lives of the saint in general, must have 
taken for their models. They imitated, as best they might, classical and ecclesiastical historians. 
Xow, Livy declares in the beginning of his History of Home, that he intended to embody in it 
legends to which he himself attached no historical value. Pliny, in the commencement of his 
Natural History, avows that he has inserted in it many things which he did not believe to be true, 
but which he thought would be amusiDg. Eusebius, the father of ecclesiastical history, has, in one 
nf his works, a chapter to which he has prefixed the scandalous title, for scandalous it is in the 
work of a Christian bishop, that it is lawful to promote the truth by means of falsehood ; and in his 
history itself, he avows that he suppresses the mention of the discords, dissensions, and fightings of 
the holy martyrs with each other, holding it to be his province to record only those facts which 
would be honourable to their memory. Here, then, the great pattern of church historians expressly 
sanctions the telling of falsehoods for a pious purpose ; and avows that he has himself practised the 
suppression of the truth, and felt it to be his duty to do so. In fact, that history is to be written 
for the sole purpose of making known the truth so far as it can be ascertained, is a purely modern 

tainly belonged to the monastery of Hy : and the former of investigating the influence of the Irish Christians in 

also, as is most probable. Finan, Cuthbert, and other 'the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons. 

prelates of the North, were of the same nation, and e " Qualiscunque fuerit ipse," [Columba,] " reli- 

members of the same institution. The third book of quit suecessores magna continentia ac divino amore, 

Bede's Ecclesiastical History gives ample details; and regularique institutione insignes-" Hist. Eccl-, 1. iii- c. 4. 

ought to be carefully studied" by any one who is desirous ' For his strictures, see Adamn. Prol, p. lxxvii. 


notion. The ancients believed that other objects, such as the reader's amusement, the indulgence 
of national pride or national hatred, the honour of the hero or the discredit of his enemies, might 
at times claim a sacrifice of truth, if the simple truth would not promote these views. It seems to 
us that the historians of St. Columba were influenced by the ancient rather than the modem histo- 
rical maxims. They wrote to advance their patron's honour and glory. What they looked upon 
as calculated to promote his honour, they eagerly adopted, on the slightest grounds of tradition or 
probability ; and nothing appeared so well calculated to effect this end as endowing the hero of their 
tale with prophetic and miraculous powers, which marked him out as the especial object of the Al- 
mighty's love and care. Hence the supernatural facts in the life of Columb-kille grew under the 
hands of successive biographers. Cummcneus, who wrote about seventy years after the death of 
the saint, has a few supernatural incidents ; Adamnan, who wrote about a hundred years after 
Columba's decease has a very great number ; and O'Donnell, who wrote nine hundred years after 
the event, has an enormous quantity : insomuch that Dr. Lanigan, who shows no inclination to re- 
ject mediieval miracles in the mass, is, nevertheless, forced to exclaim " We are not bound to admit 
miracles on the testimony of such writers as O'Donnell !" We extend this principle to Cummeneus 
and Adamnanus. We think it evident that they were inspired with a fervent reverence for the 
patron saint of their fraternity, and the founder of their convent ; that they were easily persuaded 
to believe (or at least to record, whether they believed or not) whatever redounded to his honour, 
and tended to inspire men with respect for his authority ; and that, even if they had any suspicion 
in their own minds as to the accuracy of some of the facts which seemed to have this tendency, 
they would have deemed it a duty to suppress their doubts. We do not believe that they invented 
the wonderful stories which we read in their pages ; but we believe they would have deemed it 
wrong to subject them to the ordeal of historical criticism. The stories themselves are of various 
kinds. Some are perhaps physical occurrences misinterpreted : dreams, visions, &c, arising from 
natural causes, but ascribed to miraculous agency. Some, perhaps, arose from casual saj'ings, mis- 
understood, or converted by the event into predictions. Some of the miracles are evidently mere 
reproductions of histories already current, parodies upon the miracles of Scripture, or parallels to 
facts already recorded in the lives of other saints. Some are stated to have been wrought on the 
most frivolous and trilling occasions, totally unworthy of a divine interposition ; others for tbc grati- 
fication of passions, which a just and beneficent Deity must regard with detestation. The prophecies 
all relate to facts which had already passed before the bistorics were written : for neither Cum- 
mcneus nor Adamnanus pretends to record so much as one unfulfilled prediction. Many of the pre- 
dictions and angelic visitations are expressly declared by the historian to have been undivulged until 
after the death of Columba, when it was easy to invent and impossible to contradict them ; and not 
one is even asserted to have been written down till generations had elapsed since the time when it 
was alleged to have occurred. A;l 1 to this the circumstance that these histories were compiled at 
a time when every one to whom they were presented had a real or supposed interest in accepting 

VOL. V!. j) 


them as true ; and we have said enough to justify the rejection of all the rest, as well as those which 
wc find in the pages of O'Donnell. 5 

It was, indeed, unfortunate for the true fame of Columba that he fell into the hands of men who 
helievcd that, by writing of him as they have done, they promoted him to renown and dignity. But 
let the attention he directed to what he was, and did, not to what his mistaken panegyrists have 
asserted concerning him, and we do not envy the feelings of the man, whatever he the form of his 
religious faith, who can derive no edification from contemplating the labours of the self-denying life, 
and the calm composure of the peaceful death of the great and venerable Columba of TnE Churches. 

A vast multitude of questions, of no little interest, some in an ecclesiastical, others in an archa?o- 
logical aspect, present themselves to the mind of the reader of Columba's life. What was the con- 
dition of religion in Ireland, at the time when he received those impressions which animated his 
pious efforts; and how far did the form of faith and worship which he established in his own in- 
stitutions, coincide with, or differ from, any that now exist ? What were the physical and spiri- 
tual characteristics of the monasteries w T hich he founded, and what were the habits and acquire- 
ments of their inmates ? Were they really exterminated have they emigrated to another region 
or do they still survive in the persons of the Scottish Highlanders ? How far did the great monas- 
tery of Iona fulfil its founder's intentions, as a centre of spiritual benefit and Christian enterprise 
among the pagan tribes which then inhabited the greater part of the island of Britain ; and par- 
ticularly, what was the amount of its influence on the Anglo-Saxons who had recently invaded its 
shores ? These questions we have neither space nor leisure to discuss : nor, perhaps, would the 
pages of this Journal be the most suitable place for the discussion of some at least of the foregoing 
topics. But they are deserving of a more thoughtful examination than they have yet received. On 
some of them Dr. Beeves has touched, with a master's hand ; and we know of no living man better 
fitted to probe them to their depths. ^ 

e We had intended to illustrate these positions by a few ready been translated and given to the public, by the 

examples selected from the narratives of supernatural able writer who has discussed the life and character of 

occurrences given by Adamnanus, but we abstain ; St. Columba in the pages of the Dublin University 

partly because we have already occupied sufficient space Magazine, for September, 1857. It may be proper to 

with this Biographical Sketch; partly because our mo- add that our own narrative and most of the illustrative 

tives might be misunderstood; and partly because some notes, were written before that article appeared 
of the specimens that we should have selected have al- 




" 'Tis opportune to look back upon old times, and contemplate our forefathers Handsome formed 

skulls give some analogy to fleshy resemblances ; and, since the dimensions of the head measure the whole body, 
and the figure thereof gives conjecture of the principal faculties, physiognomy outlives ourselves, and ends not in 
the grave." Sir Thomas Bkowne, on Urn-Burial. 

That the Cranium constitutes an element of paramount importance, in studying the natural history 
of man, is now universally admitted. Moulded upon the brain that most wonderful portion of 
the human organism, in which is situated the material apparatus of the moral and intellectual 
faculties proper to man, and of the instincts which he holds in common with the higher orders of 
the animal kingdom its form and volume, rightly interpreted, indicate with exactitude and 
precision the special mental aptitudes of the individual it represents, requiring but a commensurate 
foundation of trustworthy data to enable us to assign to each race its proper position in the social 
scale. Even by those, indolently or wilfully blind to its higher capabilities and to the all-important 
truths respecting it, which, dimly foreshadowed by contemplative observers from time to time, have 
been demonstratively promulgated to the world for upwards of half a century, the human skull is 
recognised as being, pre-eminently, that part of the skeleton which affords the best and most 
perspicuous characteristics upon which to base the classification of the various families of mankind. 
Hence all ethnological writers concur in attempting, after some fashion or other, to treat of its 
form and typical import, although, as might reasonably have been anticipated, the inquiry in such 
hands has never advanced beyond a vague and objectless empiricism, alike unworthy of the subject 
and unprofitable in its results. 

So far back as 1798, Gall, in a letter to Baron lletzer, explaining the scope and object of his 
researches, announces them to be "to ascertain the functions of the brain in general, and those of 
i(s different parts in particular; and to show that it is possible to ascertain different dispositions and 
inclinations by the elevations and depressions upon the head ; and to present in a clear light the 
most important consequences which result therefrom to medicine, morality, education, and legisla- 
tion ; in a word, to the science of human nature."" And, writing in 1810, Dr. Klliotson announces 

Gall. Boston Edition. lN'-'i. Vol.i., p. 7. 


the result in these words : " There is no fact better established in nature than that the different 
parts of the brain, like the different parts of the nervous system at large, have different functions, 
and that some parts are destined for intellectual and some for moral functions or feelings. As the 
size and weight of the brain must depend upon both these, it is evident that two brains may be of 
equal size, and yet the one be very large in portions devoted to intellect, and small in those devoted 
to the feelings ; while another is poor in the intellectual portions, and large in those devoted to the 
feelings ; so that a brain may be large or small in regard to certain moral or intellectual powers 
only." b 

So recently, however, as 1848, in an elaborate article in the October number of the Edinburgh 
Review, entitled, "Ethnology, or the Science of Races," and which may fairly be presumed to 
embody the then prevailing ethnological views upon the subject, the writer prefaces his remarks 
upon " the most striking variations of bodily structure in man," by admitting "that, even from 
remote times, common consent seems to have connected the idea of intellectual power Avith the 
large dimensions of the anterior part of the skull and the corresponding lobe of the brain ;" and yet, 
in the face of such an admission to say nothing of the discoveries of Gall, an admission so sug- 
gestive of more minute analytical inquiry, and presumably pregnant with no unimportant results, 
the reviewer appears to consider that Dr. Prichard's classification of skulls, under the three typical 
forms of oval, pyramidal, and prognathous, leaves nothing more to be accomplished or desired 
a classification constructed upon a very cursory view of the subject, and unsupported by any attempt 
at measurement whatsoever. It is to be observed, however, that Prichard himself puts forward his 
views with considerable qualification ; c whilst Retzius, Carus, and Morton recognise the necessity 
for a more scientific mode of procedure, by endeavouring to base their investigations upon a 
numerical foundation. Unfortunately, however, the system of measurement adopted, with more 
or less of modification, by them all, is defective in many particulars, and open to some serious 

Retzius gives us, in figures, the length of the skull, its circumference, the breadth of the forehead, 
the breadth of the occiput, its height, the mastoidal breadth, zygomatic ditto, the height and 
breadth of the orbits, the height of the upper jaw, of the chin, and of the ascending ramus of the 
lower jaw, also the length and breadth of the foramen magnum. 

Carus omits several of these ; but, on the other hand, makes some important additions. Thus, he 
gives the cubical capacity, the circumference, the length measured from the glabella to the most 
prominent part of the occiput ; the length, breadth, and height of its frontal, parietal, and occipital 
regions : what he designates their length being their peripheral extension along the median line 
from the naso-frontal to the coronal suture, for the frontal region ; thence to the lambdoidal, for 
tbc parietal region ; and from that to the posterior margin of the foramen magnum, for the occipital. 

>> Physiology. 1840. p. 1074. < Nat. His. of .Man. p. 107- 


The breadth of the frontal is taken at the most prominent part of the coronal suture, wherever 
that may be ; of the parietal, at the parietal protuberances, Avhether that be the broadest part or not ; 
and the occipital, wherever the bone is broadest ; whilst the different heights are measured from 
the auditory foramen to the most elevated portion of their respective bones. To these he further 
adds the length of the face, from the symphisis menti to the naso-frontal suture ; and its breadth, 
being the diameter between the most prominent points of the zygomata. 

Morton gives the majority of these measurements, and adds some others. "What Carus gives in 
three sections as the length of the frontal parietal and occipital regions, Morton gives in one, naming 
it the " occipto-frontal arch," and gives besides what he denominates the " intermastoid arch," taken 
on the skull from the point of one mastoid process to the other. He gives but one vertical measure- 
ment, and that ho takes, not from the auditory foramen, but from the fossa between the condyles 
of the occipital bone to the top of the skull ; and, in addition to the gross cubical capacity of the 
skull, he gives, as accurately as he can, the relative proportions of its anterior, posterior, and 
coronal subdivisions. d 

Of the great value of several of these measurements, so far as they arc indicative of absolute size 
of brain, there can be no doubt whatever. Others, being taken at positions varying with the 
varying form of each skull, do not afford the means of accurately comparing one cranium with 
another ; while all those taken from the auditory foramen are inherently vicious, and only calculated 
to mislead ; giving, not the true vertical elevation, but the length of the hypothenuse of the triangle 
formed by the true perpendicular and the semi-diameter of the base of the skull ; involving errors 
wholly incompatible with scientific accuracy, and which vary, with the varying diameter of the 
skull and the length of its perpendiculars, from half-an-inch to an entire inch. 

]S T or have phrenological writers been much more successful in dealing with thissubject. Though they 
have furnished many admirable contributions upon the cranial forms of different races and upon their 
associated moral and intellectual endowments, and although their authority has hitherto been received 
with an indifference and distrust chiefly attributable to prejudice and ignorance upon the part of the 
objectors, it must nevertheless be confessed that there exist some well-grounded objections to the 
general reception of phrenological measurements, as hitherto recorded. The majority of their 
numerical measurements arc similar to those adopted by ethnologists, and liable to the same 
objections : whilst their measurements of the special organs, in their various degrees of 
development, being dependent for their accuracy upon the natural endowments, tact, and acquired 
dexterity of the observer, require, to a large extent, to bc'acccptcd as matters of faith or trust 
a mode of procedure unfavourable to the extension of scientific truths, and not unnaturally somewhat 
repulsive to the scientific mind. Indeed, phrenologists themselves have long regretted this defect, and 
expressed their anxiety for its correction. Mr. Combe, in commenting upon a table of measurements 

d Crania Americana, ]> 2 40 


of national skulls, published in his System of Phrenology, [vol. ii., p. 371, 5th ed.,] observes: 
" The measurements in the foregoing table do not represent the size of any organ in particular, for 
the reasons stated in vol. i., p. 156 : they are intended to indicate merely the size of the skulls. 
They do not, however, accomplish this object successfully, in consequence of the impossibility of 
measuring irregular spheres by diameters. They are, therefore, indications merely of the length of 
the particular lines stated in the different skulls, from which a rough estimate of the relative 
dimensions of the skulls may be formed. A scientific mode of measurement is much wanted. 

So far we look in vain, therefore, for that uniformity of method and that numerical precision, 
without which no scientific investigation requiring the cooperation of numerous observers can be 
successfully prosecuted. The mode of procedure hitherto adopted furnishes to the mind, at best, 
nothing but vague generalities, which it cannot by any effort of reflection reduce into definite shape 
and form ; and, till we can accomplish something more than this till wc can record with something 
like accuracy the proportional development of the great subdivisions of the brain, as indicated by 
its bony covering, so that our figures shall convey to the mind determinate ideas of their relation 
towards each other, we shall not be in a position to do justice to our materials, or to interpret 
faithfully or profitably the natural hieroglyphs thus submitted to our examination. What we 
especially stand in need of is some method of measuring cranial forms and magnitudes, which, by 
combining perfect simplicity and facility of application with rigid scientific accuracy, shall command 
our confidence ; by means of which the ethnologist may be enabled to record his own observations 
and to profit by the recorded observations of others, without the risk of misinterpretation ; which 
shall afford a sound numerical basis for the phrenologist's special measurements ; and by which, to 
a large extent, their general accuracy may be tested. 13ut, though an improved method of taking 
and recording cranial measurements would admittedly be of incalculable advantage to the phrenolo- 
gist, it is when looked at from an ethnological point of view, that the necessity for the alteration 
becomes most apparent. The phrenologist can pursue many of his inquiries, and demonstrate 
conclusively the soundness of his inferences, by the aid of detached or isolated specimens each 
head embracing in itself all the necessary data by which its mental capabilities can be determined. 
But the ethnologist has to deal with tribes and nations. He stands somewhat in the position of 
the actuary who has to deduce congruous and general laws from an extensive collection of apparently 
incongruous and heterogeneous facts. In every age, and amongst all races, special individuality of 
character must necessarily have occasioned considerable modification of typical form ; so that no 
single cranium can, per se, be taken to represent the true average characteristics of the variety from 
which it may be derived. It is only from a large induction, therefore, that the ethnologist can 
venture to pronounce with confidence upon the normal type of any race, or reasonably expect to 
attain, in his craniological investigations, that measure of completeness necessary to rescue them from 
their present objectless character, and to impart to his conclusions scientific definiteness and value. 

If an improved method of measurement be thus desirable, when treating of existing and ac- 


cessible races whose crania form but one, though by no means the least important, element for 
determining the influences that may have contributed to their development and progress, still more 
necessary does it become when we endeavour to investigate the moral, social, and intellectual 
condition of their remote predecessors, of whom we possess few, if any records, save such as remain 
to us in their rude structures and works of art, and in their own osseous remains. These latter are 
necessarily few in amount, widely scattered, singularly frail and perishable, and are day by day 
irretrievably disappearing before the unavoidable encroachments of extending civilisation. It is of 
the first importance, therefore, that our description of such should be as accurate and free from 
ambiguity as the nature of the subject will permit the paucity of our materials affording but little 
prospect of our accumulating the requisite data, unless we can succeed in concentrating upon some 
recognised scientific plan, as in other departments of natural science, the detached labours of every 
competent observer. 

Finding it totally impossible to furnish, upon any existing method, satisfactory measurements of 
some ancient Irish crania collected during Mr. Getty's examination of the round towers of Ulster, 
as well as from other collateral sources, the writer came to have his attention forcibly directed to 
the subject, and he devised, in consequence, an instrument for taking cranial measurements 
a description of which, and of the method proposed to be adopted for recording the results, was 
published in the Ulster Journal of Archaeology (vol. i., p. 198). That communication was avowedly 
made, however, more for the purpose of eliciting the criticism of those interested in such investiga- 
tions than as a complete and matured plan ; and much subsequent experience and some friendly 
counsel, while they have confirmed the soundness of the principle involved, have led to considerable 
modification, both in the instrument itself and in the method of tabulating its indications. 

In the instrument, as first constructed, each part of the skull had to be successively brought for 
measurement to a sliding scale, which indicated in inches its distance from a common centre, the 
result being at once recorded in figures ; and as these measurements were taken at fixed angular 
intervals, they furnished numerical data, from which sectional outlines of the skull could, at any 
time, be readily projected. But this method being liable to accidental errors, arising from hasty 
and inaccurate notation, and furnishing no means for checking or correcting them, it soon became 
.Apparent that it would be much more useful to have an instrument by means of which the sectional 
outlines could be traced directly upon paper ; the measurements to be deduced from them, instead 
of the outlines being projected from measurements, inasmuch as the outlines so taken could always 
be referred to as authorities for the verification or correction of their numerical equivalents. After 
some consideration, an instrument for the accomplishment of this object lias been contrived, with a 
description of which it is unnecessary to trouble the reader, upon the present occasion. It will be 
sufficient to state that, by means of it, sectional outlines of the skull may be taken, at any point 
and in any position vertical, horizontal, or intermediate without much trouble, and with reliable 
fidelity : that these outlines afford unimpeachable materials from which measurements can be taken 


at leisure, with much greater facility and accuracy than could be arrived at by measuring the skull 
itself; and that they are readily convertible into numerical values, by the aid of which, and without 
any preliminary calculation, the form and dimensions of different skulls and of their different 
sections may be compared with mathematical precision. Upon this latter point, however, some 
further explanation will be necessary. 

In entering upon an investigation where much is new and unexplored, it is very desirable that 
our inquiries should, if possible, be preceded by the examination of some cognate object, with the 
features and history of which we are acquainted. For this reason, therefore, the skull of the 
celebrated German philosopher, Spurzheim, the pupil and associate of Gall, has been selected for 
the purposes of illustration and comparison. 

The exalted moral and intellectual endowments of Spurzheim arc upon record, if they be not 
even yet fresh in the recollection of many still living for few that had the pleasure of making his 
personal acquaintance but must remember, after the lapse of even a quarter of a century, the 
singularly noble, contemplative, and benevolent expression of his manly countenance. That Gall 
should have considered him a befitting associate in his researches would, in itself, be sufficient to 
stamp Spurzheim as no ordinary man, even if his labours and writings had not abundantly testified 
to the fact ; and that misunderstanding and estrangement should subsequently have arisen between 
these two distinguished men is deeply to be regretted. To Gall must ever belong the unapproachable 
honour of having established his great discovery, and determined all its principal applications by his 
own unaided exertions ; but they wrong both him and Spurzheim who would deny to the latter a large 
and honourable participation in the subsequent progress and consolidation of the science. It is possible 
that he may have indulged the desire to occupy a more prominent position in relation to phrenology 
than, as having been originally Gall's pupil, he was entitled to do. Such a weakness might not 
have been incompatible with his organisation, " and to err is human ;" but it is equally probable 
that, as in most similar cases, there were errors of judgment and of temper upon both sides. Certain 
it is, that the manner in which the question has been taken up and canvassed by those who 
would depreciate Spurzheim, appears to have been directed as much by a spirit of personal hostility 
as by a dispassionate regard for truth. 

Spurzheim died at Boston, in America, upon the 10th of November, 1832, at the age of 56, of 
fever, brought on by over-exertion while engaged in delivering lectures upon the anatomy and 
physiology of the brain. The citizens of Boston conferred upon his remains the honour of a public 
funeral, retaining his skull, however, as the most appropriate and precious memorial that could be 
preserved of so celebrated a man. A cast of his skull was published shortly afterwards ; and from 
it the sectional tracings of which the accompanying illustrations are reduced copies, have been 
taken. It is a fine specimen of a well-developed head ; and, as the cast can easily be procured, 
and the mental endowments of Spurzheim admit of ready determination, it furnishes a very 
satisfactory starting point for such an inquiry as the present. 


Of the measurements hitherto in use, any of real value have been retained, constituting, as will be 
seen, the first series in the Table ; and, as they arc chiefly indicative of volume only, they are given 
in the ordinary standard of inches and tenths. The measurements about to be described, being 
more of a proportional or distributive character, are based upon a different principle. 

By common consent, the naso-frontal suture, and the external opening of the ear, have been 
selected as the most suitable fixed points from whence to take the majority of cranial measurements ; 
although, as already pointed out, considerable correction is indispensable in order to insure accurate 
results. In fact, the true centre from which vertical or radial measurements ought to be taken is 
not the auditory foramen, but that point where a straight line passing through the centres of both 
foramina is bisected by another straight line, continued from the naso-frontal suture; the suture itself 
being the zero point from whence their angular values may be determined ; as in our first Illustra- 
tion, where the profile or median section of Spurzhcim's skull is placed within a graduated circle 
the auditory foramen in the centre, and the naso-frontal suture upon the zero-radius a moveable 
graduated scale enabling the distance of any part of its periphery from the centre to be read off at 
once, and its angular position determined with the utmost facility. If these radial measurements, 
however, were to be given in inches and tenths, they would be comparatively useless ; inasmuch as 
the absolute measurements of the corresponding sections of different skulls can only be received as 
proportional to the actual length or other fixed diameter of each skull ; and, for the purposes of 
scientific comparison, the reduction of these to true values would oppose an insurmountable extent 
of calculation. Instead of this, therefore, the length of each skull, at one determinate' point, {viz. from 
10 to 145 degrees,) has been adopted as its own standard of measurement. Taken as unity, and 
divided into 100 equal parts, this long diameter furnishes a scale upon which all the subordinate 
measurements are represented in decimals ; thus permitting, without the necessity for any calcula- 
tion whatsoever, the most perfect comparison between the sub-divisions of different crania, no matter 
how disproportionate their actual volume. For example, -a skull 6 inches broad and 7^ inches 
long must be, proportionally, a narrower skull than another having precisely the same diameter but 
only six inches long. If each of these long diameters .1 inches and ~i\ inches) be divided into 100 
equal parts, 6 inches will be found to extend to nearly '86 divisions upon the one scale, while upon 
the other it will only be the equivalent of '80, indicating, at a glance, the true proportional diameter 
of each skull; and so of all their other dimensions. Tor every practical purpose, measun '.cents, taken 
at successive angular intervals of 10 degrees, furnish abundant data either for conveying to the mind, 
or for projecting upon paper, the correct outline of any skull ; and thus all the prominent informa- 
tion to be derived from any profile drawing may be converted into intelligible numerical values, 
and condeiwi!, as in the Table, into a moderate-sized column of figures. 

In the third Illustration, three skulls are given in profile; and in the accompanying Table the 
measurements from which they are projected are tabulated in parallel columns, so as to bring pro- 
minently before the mind, by the double evidence of form and number, their relative proportions. 

vol. vi. i: 


Thus, at zero, Spurzheim's skull exceeds No. 7 by 3 one-lmndredtlis, and No. 14 by 6 one -hund- 
redths ; at 30 degrees, No. 7 exceeds Spurzheim by 4, and No. 14 by no less than 15 one-hund- 
redths ; while at 150 degrees, No. 14 exceeds No. 7 by 5, and Spurzheim by 6. In like manner 
may any of the eleven columns of tabular measurements be compared with one another throughout 
their entire range. But the pro tile- view of any skull, no matter how artistically elaborated, fur- 
nishes but a very inadequate representation of its real character, unless accompanied by measure- 
ments of its transverse diameters at sufficiently numerous and constant points. Hitherto those em- 
ployed for the purpose have been too limited in amount, and too fluctuating in position, to be of 
any value. To remedy this defect, it is proposed to take transverse outlines of the skull at regular 
intervals, and from fixed points upon these to supply as many diametrical values as may be requi- 
site. In the second Illustration, six transverse sections of Spurzheim's skull are thus given : one 
at 10 degrees passes over the top of the orbital plates, or nearly in the plane of the base of the an- 
terior lobe of the brain ; one at 60 and another at 120, coincide pretty closely with the anterior and 
posterior boundaries of the parietal bones ; whilst one, severally at 30, 90, and 150, intersects the 
frontal, parietal, and occipital bones about their centres. If each of these sections be divided into 
3 parts of equal vertical elevation, by lines drawn parallel to their bases, the extremities of these 
lines, and of the base line, will furnish 3 fixed points upon each section, where measures of diameter 
may be taken, which, for the most part, will be found to coincide pretty accurately with the more 
prominent features of the skull; and, if the position of these points be marked upon their corres- 
ponding radii, in the profile section, (as in the first Illustration,) they will be found to divide it into 
three concentric zones, which, for facility of reference, may be designated the temporal, juxta-temporal, 
and peripheral ; constituting, as it were, a complete chart of the skull. 

Commencing at its base, the mastoidal-diameter may first be noted ; next that of the meatus, or 
(to avoid the irregularities that would arise from penetrating more or less into its cavity) the 
diameter at a point rather above it, tipon the radius of 90 ; then, in succession, the several diameters 
of the temporal, and juxta-temporal, zones ; and lastly, the three diameters connected with the face, 
in the order laid down on the Table. One other section, the horizontal one, passing through 10 and 
] 1-5 degrees, completes the series. [See second Illustration.] From it the length and breadth are 
determined, it being, in almost every skull, its longest and broadest section. These proportional 
measurements, therefore, being taken at unvarying and determined positions, and being recorded in 
a language whose symbols admit of no ambiguity, and arc universally intelligible, convey to the 
mind an amount of exact information such as no pictorial representation, nor any combination of 
words, could supply ; and, when systematically tabulated, afford facilities for comparison only at- 
tainable through the intervention of figures. 

It may possibly be objected to this method that it involves too large an array of arithmetical figures, 
and demands too great an expenditure of labour; but what was ever yet accomplished, of any value, 
without some labour ? And, if it be desirable to furnish measurements at all, (and, from the fact. 


that almost every writer upon the suhject gives them after some fashion, this is manifestly the case, ) 
surely it is of some importance that they should be adequate to accomplish the object in view, and, 
at least, be so taken and recorded as to convey truthful and intelligible impressions to the mind. 

Moreover, as the requisite tracings and measurements are reduced by means of the Craniometer 
to simple mechanical operations, which may be faithfully executed by any intelligent assistant, 
the difficulties are much more apparent than real. 

Having now explained, with as much brevity as the nature and importance of the subject would 
permit, the method intended to be employed for determining the dimensions and peculiarities of 
form observable in the Irish crania which are to form the subject-matter of this paper, the writer, 
though he does not enter upon the undertaking without considerable hesitation, indulges, neverthe- 
less, the confident hope that, even should the investigation in his hands yield no sufficient or con- 
clusive results, the materials collected will constitute, so far as they go, authentic and trustworthy 
data for future and more competent inquirers. 

Prominent amongst the antiquities of Ireland stand its remarkable Hound Towers, structures of 
an architectural character so completely sui generis as to have neither prototype nor counterpart in 
any other land, e and whose date and origin are so admittedly remote, and were until recently so 
confcssetUy obscure, as to have afforded to successive generations of antiquarians an inexhaustible 
subject for discussion. Before the mystery which for so many ages enveloped them had been defi- 
nitely removed by the publication of Dr. Pctrie's work upon the subject, and while full scope was 
yet permitted for fanciful speculation and unrestrained conjecture, it came by some means to be 
surmised that possibly they might have been intended for monumental erections; that, in truth, 
they might be the still existing mausoleums of renowned men of old of the high priests, perad- 
venture, of an eastern worship, which, paling before the effulgence of a brighter and purer faith, had 
passed into oblivion, leaving, witli the exception of these perplexing memorial.-, "scarce a wreck 
behind.'' Such an opinion once entertained, an appeal to the nature of their contents followed, as 
a matter of course ; and, as already stated by Mr. Getty, examinations set on foot by the South 
Munster Antiquarian Society, so far justified the supposition, as to prove that human remains had. 
in several instances, been deposited within the towers, lint the inquiry would appear to have 
been limited simply to the one object of obtaining countenance for the monumental hypothesis ; 
and without any sufficient appreciation, on the part of the inquirers, of the value which might 
attach to (he remains themselves if they should prove to be of considerable antiquity. Through the 
instrumentality of that Society, the towers of Ardmore, Cashel, Cloyne, Kinneigh, Eoscrea, and 
even of Brechin, in Scotland, were examined, with varying results. In some, human remains 

e As Scotland was partially colonised by the Irish, from and Brechin, the only two out of Ireland, can scarcely 
whom it takes its present name, the towers of Abernethy be looked upon as exceptions. 


were found : in some, not ; "while others bore palpable traces of having been previously disturbed ; 
but the proceedings, from whatever cause arising, (whether from having been imperfectly con- 
ducted, or obscurely reported,) had chiefly served to originate a discussion as to whether the remains 
so discovered were cotemporaneous with the towers, or had been subsequently introduced ; nor had 
there on any occasion been procured a cranium, or even the fragments of a cranium, sufficiently 
perfect to throw any light upon its own origin, or to interest ethnological inquirers in the result. 
In this state of the question, the discovery of an almost perfect skeleton within the round tower 
of Drumbo, as detailed by Mr. Getty, [Ulster Journal of Archeology, vol. 3, p. 113,] under cir- 
cumstances to satisfy such acute and correct observers as the gentlemen present upon that occasion 
that the body must have been deposited therein at the time of the erection of the tower, im- 
parted to the investigation a value which it did not previously possess : since, no matter in what 
manner, or to what extent, the discovery of cotemporaneous human remains within these build- 
ings might eventually be brought to bear upon the then disputed questions of their date, origin, 
and uses, the remains themselves being from a source so unquestionably Irish, could scarcely fail to 
prove a valuable contribution to the ethnological materials of the country. 

Having enjoyed the privilege of accompanying Mr. Getty in the majority of his round tower ex- 
cursions, and having assisted personally in exhuming most of the human remains brought to light 
during the excavations, the writer is in a position to testify to the fidelity with which the details 
of the examinations made by Mr. Getty have been recorded by him in the pages of this Journal, and 
to express his own unhesitating conviction that the remains thus obtained must have been, at least, 
co-eval with the buildings in which they were interred. In every instance, but that of Trummery, 
(in "which there were exceptional peculiarities, both in the construction of the tower and in the 
mode of interment," one uniform series of phenomena was observable. After removing a greater or 
lesser depth of heterogeneous materials, evidently the sIoav accumulation of ages, a flooring of lime, 
more or less thick, was reached, from which downwards the successive off-sets that formed the base 
of the tower extended ; the interior being filled up with materials similar in all respects, except com- 
pactness, to the natural till or original soil upon which the foundation rested ; and it was in this 
disturbed soil, and beneath tins lime floor, without any exception whatever, that remains, when pre- 
sent, were found. As the result of his own observation, it would appear to the writer that, the 
foundation having been completed, and whatever was intended to be deposited within having been 
introduced, the interior was carefully filled up and levelled over, before proceeding with the re- 
maiuder of the structure ; and, that the structure of lime which, for convenience of description, has 
b ii n desi anted a "lime floor," resulted from the subsequent accidental dropping of the mortar, 
during the further progress of the building. Be that as it may, however, the existence of this pe- 
culiar stratum was so invariable, and any disturbance of it could be so easily detected, that nothing 
whatever was recog lis id as being authentically associated in date with the towers which was not 
discovered beneath i'c. Of eleven towers, examined by Mr. Getty, six contained human remains; 










1 ^ 












four exhibited no appearance of ever having done so : and one had been previously disturbed. The 
skulls obtained were, with one or two exceptions, in so frail and perishable a condition, that it was 
impossible to remove them, except in almost hopeless fragments ; but, by carefully saturating these 
fragments with glue, cementing them together, and strengthening them with plaster of Paris, several 
of them have been satisfactorily restored. 

The number of tolerably perfect skulls derived from this source, exclusive of a few fragments 
sufficiently large to be of some value, is seven ; namely, one from Drumbo, four from Clones, one 
from Drumlane, and one from Armoy. Two other skulls were also discovered during the progress 
of Mr. Getty's researches, one in St. Molaisi's house or chapel, Devenish, the other within the old 
Cathedral of Downpatrick ; both of which, from the circumstances under which they were found, 
the age of the buildings in which they were deposited, and the close proximity of these to the sites of 
Round Towers, may reasonably be associated with the latter in date. The human remains brought 
to light at Trummery and Inniskcen were too much decayed to permit of more than the merest frag- 
ments being preserved. During the sixteen years that have elapsed since the examination of the 
Hound Tower of Drumbo, a considerable number of skulls has been obtained, from time to time, of 
different dates and from various widely separated localities ; but, as the Crania of the Hound Towers 
form, as it were, the nucleus around which the others have collected, it is proposed to describe these 
five in the order of their discover}'. 

(To be continued.) 

i:\i\i.axation of ran illustrations. 

Plate 1. Tbc profile or median section (half size linear) of Spurzheim's skull, with the distance of 
its periphery from the centre, taken at angular intervals of 10 degrees, and its various trans- 
verse diameters marked upon it in decimal sub-divisions of its long diameter. 

Plate 2. Six transverse sections of Spurzheim's skull taken successively at 10, 30, GO, 90, 120, and 
150 degrees, from which the temporal and juxta-temporal diameters are determined; and one 
horizontal section passing through the two points of 10 and 145 degrees, for determining its 

Plate 3. Profile outlines of three skulls (viz. Spurzheim's, No. 7, and Xo. 14,) all projected upon a 
scale of the same actual dimensions, and exhibiting the proportion which each would bear to 
the other if the three skulls were precisely of the same length. 

The Taiu.k, appended to the present article, contains the measurements of eleven skulls thus taken, 
arranged in parallel columns; from the three first of which, Plate 3 has been projected. In 
consequence of the Table occupying two pages, its continuity has been unavoidably broken. 



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One day, in the month of December, in the " dark days" that happen at Christmas, a farmer of 
very small holding returned from his daily employment. He was known as " wee Jemmy 
M c Creedy," of the townland of Ballinastarvet, which lies on the side of a mountain. His crop of 
potatoes had failed him ; his Hollantide rent was unpaid yet, and the agent had sent him a notice. 
Poor man, he felt age creeping on him ; besides, he was weak and desponding, and troubles had 
made his wife peevish. Though it's wrong to " come over" 1 what's private, or "let on" " ins an' 
outs" of a quarrel, yet the story may prove to be useful, and they suffer nothing by scandal. 

J E M M r . 

Auch! auch! there's another day over, 

An' the year's comin' fast to an endin' ; 

But two or three sich will desthroy me, 

For my cough's gettin' worse, an' I'm waker. 

Oh ! Betty M'Crcedy, what ails ye, 

That ye can't keep a wee bit o' fire on ? 

Go 'long, bring some clods 2 from the turf-stack, 

For ni}- toes an' my fingers is nippin." 3 

B E T T Y . ~ 

What's the manin' ov all this norration, 4 
An' me lookin' after the childhre' ? 
A'm sure, both my ancles is achin' 
With throttin' about since the mornin'. 
If ye hev been outside for a wee while, 
It's many another's condition. 
An' the days is n't long; A can tell ye, 
It's har'ly an hour since yer dinner. 
An' Jemmy, A may as well say it, 

I Repeat. 3i Painful with oold. 

_', Fragments of peats or turves. 4. Noise, quasi "oration." 


There's no use at all in desavin', 
It's crosser and crosserye're gettin', 
Till my very heart's scalded wi' sorra. 
Deed an' doubles 5 A'llbear it no longer. 

J E M m y . 
Well, Betty, bad luck to the liars, 
But there's one of us greatly mistaken. 
From momin' till day-li't-goin' 6 workin', 
Cleanin' corn 7 on the top o' the knowe 8 head, 
The Arine whistled roun' me like bag-pipes, 
An' cut me in two like a razure. 
A thrim'let an' shuck like an aspy, 9 
While the dhraps from my nose, o' coul wather, 
Might 'a' dhrownded 1 a middle-sized H kitlin'. 

Och! indeed yer a scar-crow, 12 that's sartin ; 
Lord help the poor woman 13 that owes ye ; 
But ye needn't be cursin' an' swearin' 
An' still east in' up 14 an upbraidin'. 
If ye think there's a liar between us, 
Jist look in the glass an' ye'll sec him. 
(Oh ! the bitterest words in his gizzard 15 
Is the best A can git thram my husband.) 

J e >r m y . 
Will ye nivvcr lave aff aggravatin' ? 
Now (pact 16 an' hev done. A forbid ye. 

B E T T Y . 

Ob, indeed 'twas yersclf 'at begun it, 

So A'll give ye back-talk 1" till ye're tired. 

There was Johnny Kincaid in the loanin', 18 

.'). R< petition of an asseveration, like'' verily, verily." fives are duck-ling 1 , gos i;, ig, dar-ling (a little dear.) 

(>. Twilight ; the derivation is obvious. 12. A figure resembling a man, intended to frighten 

7. Oats, birds. 

s A knoll; as pow for poll, row for roll, seraw for l:?. An idiomatic expression for "wife." 

scroll. 14. Reminding one of offences. 

!>. Aspen. I.). Contemptuous expression for heart. 

10 A ioeular idiom: 'a' is the uminphatie abbre- l(i. CV;'se:from "quit.'' 

viation for "have." 17. Responses or replications. 

II. Witling, a little cat, viz. a kitten, Similar dim'mu- is. A country lane or " b<>n en." 

vol,. VI. 


Was afther me more nor a twel'montb, 
When you hadn't yit come across me, ' 9 
But A hedn't the luck for to git him. 
He's a corpolar20 now on a pension, 
An' keeps up his wife like a lady, 
An's nate an' well dhrest on a Sunday. 

Well, well ! hut there's no use in talkin', 
His crap disn't fail him in harvest ; 
An' forhy, 21 Paddy Shales isn't paid yet 
For makin' the coat that I'm wearin'. 
More 22 betoken, it wants to be mended, 
But ye nivver touch needle nor thhn'le. 
There's my wais'coat is hingin' in ribbons, 
With only two buttons to houl' it ; 
An' my breeches in dyuggins 23 an' totthers, 
Till A 24 can't go to meetin' on Sunday. 

Och ! have done with yer schamin' religion, 
For ye nivver wos greedy for Gospel. 
Deed, bad luck to the toe 25 y C '<i g near it, 
If we cloth' d ye as fine as Square Johnston. 

Ye wud slungc 2o at the backs o' the ditches, 27 

With one or two others, yer fellas, 28 

A huntin' the dogs at the rat-holes. 

But I'm used to be clanely an' dacent, 

An' so wos my father afore me ; 

An' how can a man go out-bye, when 

His clo'es is all out at the elbows ? 
B E I t y . 

Well, yer hat disn't need any patchin', 

An' A'm sure it's far worse nor the t' others ; 

! ) Idiom for, " I had not met with you." when unemphatic ; and in similar circumstances ' 

20. * orporal. becomes yer, " you" ye or yay, i- me" or " my" wi 

2). Besides. 25. Length of a toe, as foot, hand, cubit, naii. in 

22 An additional fact to the purpose. 2i>. Lounge. 

2'! Scraps or shreds 27. Dikes or fences- 

24. This is the term of the first p> rsonal pronoun 28. Equals or fit companions. 


I bought it myself in the market, 
From big Conny Collins, that made it, 
For two shillins, an' share of a naggin. 29 
See, the brim is tore off like brown paper, 
Till ye're jist like a Connaughtman nager.30 
An' then, as for darnin' yer stockin's, 
As well think ov mendin' a riddle. 
Why a woman's kep throttin' behine ye, 
Till she can't do a turn, nor a foundet. 31 

Xow, jist let me alone ; an' believe me, 
If ye don't houl' your tongue in one minute. 
An' git me my supper o' sowins, 32 
The same as ye say'd in the niornin', 
A' 11 warm all the wax in your ears, 33 
An' we'll see which desarves to be masther. 


Och ! ye mane-hearted cowartly scrapins, 

Is that the mischief 34 that ye're up to ?35 

Ye wud jist lift your hand 36 to a woman, 

That ye ought to purtect an' to comfort. 

See here, 37 ye're a beggarly cowart ; 

If ye seen yer match 38 sthript an' fornenst39 ye, 

Ye wud wish to creep intil a mouse-hole. 40 

So ye needn't be curlin' yer eyebrows, 

An' dhrawin' yer fist like to sthrek me. 

God be thankit the tongs is beside me, 

An' as well soon as sync, A may tell ye, 

If ye offer to stir up a rippet, 41 

20 The parties drank it unitedly. This is a frequent accent towards the commencement, 
custom, and is sanctioned by the Bacchanalian proverb, .'!.'>. Designing or intending- 

" there's no luck in a dthry bargain." 3G. A periphrasis for " strike." 

:\0. Negro, t lit? term being used in the general sense of 37. A frequent expletive, used for the purpose of iu- 

savage, just as " Indian'' is in correct language. creasing the attention of the hearer. 

31. Anything whatever. 38. A person of equal capacity. 

.(2. Flummery. 39. Fore anent, i.e. opposite to. 

33. A periphrasis for boxing the ears. 40. An exaggeration, frequently used in colloquial 

"4. The word was formerly pronounced in this way, intercourse, 
belbrethe practice was so common of throwing back the 41. A racket, or violent disturbance. 


An' thinks that yc'rc inipcrance 42 cows 4 3 me, 

All the veins in ye' re heart 44 ye shall rue it. 

If ye dar for till venthur to hit me, 4 5 

See, by this an' by that, ye' 11 repent it. 

A'll soon comb 4( > yer head with the crook-rod, 4 < 

Or sen' its contents shinin' through ye. 48 

J E M M Y . 

"Well, ov all the oul' wecrnin in Ulsther, 

A nivvcr seen wan so curnaptious ; 49 

It's ivvcr an' always ye're scouldin', 

An' still finin' fault with a body, 50 

For the turnin' o' sthroes, 51 or for nothin'. 

Yer tongue wud 52 clip clouts jist like sheers, 

An' from momin' till duskiss53 it's endless. 

A'm sure if A wos for to bate ye, 

An' give ye yer fill ov a lickin', 

It isn't yer neighbours 34 desarves it ; 

But A wudn't purtend to sitch maneness, 

Nor even my wit 5 j till a woman. 

B E I T Y . 

It's the best o' yer play 5G A can tell ye, 
An' now that ye're comin' to rason, 
Let me ax where ye met yer companions ? 
Ye've been dhrinkin' ; ye needn't deny it : 
Now don't look so black at me that 'ay, 
Nor sin yer poor sowl wi' more lyin'. 
Can't A see that ye smell like a puncheon? 57 
(Oh ! the Lord 58 in liis marcylookon me, 

42. Impudence. 

4:;. Intimidates ; used by Scott 
Lake, " as your tinchel cows the game " 

44 Compare this expres>ion with Cushla ma-chrec 

45. This verb is mainly used to denote striking v. itli 
Hst ; imperfect, hot, or hut, occasionally used- 

4l>\ Contemptuous menace to strike him (>n the he 

47. An iron instrument, lor suspending the pot c 
cot ag'T's fire. 

4^. There is a mixture of figures here, the latter 
live 1 from a gun. 

; ). Quarrelsome and petulant. 

50. An impersonal pronoun. 

ol, Trifles, i.e., the turning of straws-. 

the Lady of th-. 


n a 


52. Is unusually sharp. 
5:5- Dusk, or twilight. 

54. Every branch of the Ilibernic dialect abounds 
ith indirect expressions like this. 

55. Degrade my understanding. 

56. Your best policy. This and other expressions : 
take yer dalin' thrick out o' them,"" what's thrumph ?" 
take a han' ; " "as black as the ace o' spades';" "the 
\\ fingers," (iive of hearts). &c-, appear to be derived 
on; the practice of card-playing. 

57. A puncheon of " liquor," [whiskey] of course. 

58. By the lower orders the Deity is seldom spoken 
.' as " God," but usually as " the Lord.'' 


A dissolate heart-brucken woman, 

While my cross-grained oul' snool W of a husban' 

Huns spendin' bis money with blackguards.) 6 

J E M M y . 
"Will yc nivvcr ha' done aggravatin' ? 61 
Why, tbc patience o' Job cudn't stan' ye. 
It's asy for you to betalkin', 
Jist sittin' at home on yer bunkers, 2 
An' burniu' yer sbins at tbc greesbaugb. 63 

B i: i t r . 
Ob ! I know very well what ye' re after, G 
Ye wor spendin' yer money with weemen. 
Lord forgive yc, ye gray-beaded sinner, 
I suppose you'll b : poisonin' me nixt. 
It's that makes yc crooked an' fractious, G5 
In the bouse with yer wife an' yer childtbre. 

J E M m y . 
Will ye whislitCG -^i' yer capcrs67 an' blethers,68 
Before ye bev dbriv me quite crazy, 
An' A'll tell yc it from the beginnin'. 
Yer oul' uncle Billy come past me 
About half an hour afore sun-set, 
An' he said we might shanougb C9 a minute 
In Okey M'Collisthcr's shibbeen. 70 
It wos him that stud 71 thratc for the both of us ; 
An' good " 2 luck to the dlirap bud a " Johnnie," 3 
Cross'dmy corp"4 since cre-yestluTdayT'a mornin'. 
The d 1 a mortyal was near us. 
lie ax'd for yerself very kine-ly ; 
An' siz I "as for Betty, poor crathcr, 

.);). A sneaking "Molly Caudle" of a man. 68. Foolish talk, or nonsense. 

(iO. This word is used in the restricted sense, of a (>!) Gossip in friendly contidenee. 

person obscene in his language and actions, TO. A cottage in which whiskey is sold without a 

()1. Annoying, cr provoking to anger. iieen.-e. 

f>2. Squatting without a seat. 71. Paid for what was drunk. 

(i.'3. lied ashes. 72- A euphonisni for 'bad luck-" 

(>4- What you mean. 7:5. Ilali-a-trlass- 

<>;>. Irritable. 74. l'as*cd my body, [i.e., my lips.] 

fifi. Hush. 75. Tin.' day before yesterday. 
17. Foolish actions. 


She's gcttin' more donsy 76 nor ever ; 

An' can't sleep a wink for rheumaticks, 

Forbye both the weed 77 an' the tooth-ache." 

Poor Billy appear' d very sorry, 

An' say'd he'd call over to see you. 

" Och," siz I, " but I'm badly 78 myself, too, 

An' still gittin' ouldther an' waker ; 

A'm afcard A'll be soon lavin'79 Betty, 

Poor widdy, without a purtacter. 

But A'll make out my will in her favour; 

An' she'll may -be live happy, in comfort, 

When I'm put to bed with a shovel." 80 

Now, Jemmy, ye mustn't talk that 'ay ; 
See, ye've set me a cryin' already, 
An' my heart's in my 81 mouth like a turmit.82 
Poor fella, ye're kine at the bottom, 
An' A'll nivvcr-more taze nor torment ye. 
Why, yer poor bits o' breeches is wringin', 83 
"With the damp that comes on at this sazon. 
Sit down on that furm84 by the hollan' 8a 
An' I'll brisk up the fire in a jiffey ; 86 
An' see, here's half-an-ounce o' tobacky, 
Ye can jist take a dhraw o' the dudyen, 87 
While the tay in the pot is confusin'. 
There's no time for a wee bit o' slim-cake, 88 
So I'll jist whip 89 across to the huxter's 90 
For a bap, 91 that agrees with yer stomach, 
' )r two penny roulls, an' some bacon. H. 

7'. Delicate in health. 81. This expresses the sensation caused by fright 

77. A short 4V verish attack, to which women are some- 82. Turnip, 

times liable 83, Saturated. 

76, Unwell. 84. Form, or long bench. 

79. The Irish have many circumlocutory expressions 8;"). A jamb to protect the fire from the wind of the 

to represent dying. Thus, a man is "disaysed;" [i.e. door. It was introduced from Holland, and usually has 

deeeaed.] or "departed;'' or "gone to glory;" or in the centre a triangular spying hole. 

there's his place empty;" " they have lost one of the 86- An instant. 

plac' :" be is ' undther board :" there's "a wake in the 87. A small pipe. This term is of Celtic origin, and 

family ;" and if he was executed, he merely " suffered ;'' is frequently represented by "cutty." 

or \\ as " put dov\ n " Even when foul play is suspected, 88. Bread made from flour and potatoes. 

it is mildly suggested that some one "helped God Al- 89- Move quickly, 

mighty away with the crathur." !)). A spongy cake of loaf bread. 

*v>. Buried. 90. Grocer's. 



' And they said unto him, say now ' Shibboleth,' and he said ' Sibboleth,' for he could not frame to pronounce it 
right.'' Judges, xii-, 6. 

It has been said that there are in the world about 2,000 languages, and of these again 5,000 dia- 
lects. In reference to the former, this is obviously an approximate calculation, which may in rea- 
lity not be far from the fact; but, -in reference to the latter, it is clear that only the more important 
ones have been taken into consideration. Many of the languages are evidently cognate in sets, as 
the Shemitic, Teutonic, and Celtic languages, or as the well-known languages of Latin origin. 
In other instances', where the varieties exist with every grade of distinction, it is sometimes almost 
impossible to say when differences of speech arc cognate languages, or merely variations of dialect. 
In general, when two persons can converse together, it is said that they speak the same language ; 
the forms which they use respectively being dialects only. This principle, however, is to be re- 
ceived with some modification ; for the Spaniard or Portuguese can make himself intelligible to the 
Italian, though we consider the speech of all the three as so many distinct languages. 

The separation of languages bears a remarkable analogy to the separation of families ; and the 
comparison has not escaped the notice of those who have written on the subject. For example, two 
sections of the same people may be separated by war or emigration ; and, in the course of a few- 
generations, the language of each will become considerably modified, though still possessing the sub- 
stance of the original. But, in time, new divisions take place, in one or both of these populations, 
producing similar results ; and, in the course of successive generations, others still. It is clear that 
every remove places the new languages farther apart from certain others, and also from the original 
parental one ; until the marks of identity disappear one by one, and the relationship comes at last 
to be questioned, or at least to be admitted with doubt and caution. Hence languages are said to 
exist in families, and have their respective pedigrees ; or, to adopt another illustration suggested 
by this, the various twigs can he traced to main brandies, which again are related to a parent stem. 
It so happens that not far from home we have an interesting illustration of this principle. On the 
western coast of England and the Continent, we find on< group of languages, the Welsh, the Curnish, 
i recently extinct in Kngland) and the Bas-Brelon, in France. These may be said to he fraternal, or 
peculiar dialects of the same original tongue; as is provcable, not merely on oral and philological 
grounds, but also on geographical and historical ones. In other words, not only do the spoken and 
written forms resemble each other at the present day, but we can show that proximity afforded op- 


port unities for frequent intercourse, and that, in point of fact, it actually took place. Another group 
of languages is found at other points ; the Irish, the most perfect branch of the ancient Celtic, the 
Scottish Gaelic, in the north and -west of Scotland, and the Manx, which is slowly expiring in the 
Isle of Man. These three present the same features of identity, and indeed were one language 
within the limits of the historic period ; so that we have thus a second triad of fraternal languages. 
To give the general idea, of their affinity, it will be sufficient to say that the two sets stand to each 
other in the relation of cousins. 

In contrast with the tendency to assimilate, which printed books and standards naturally produce, 
is the fact that living tongues present very marked varieties. The inhabitants of the ancient Pro- 
vinces and even of the modern Departments of France, may be readily distinguished from each 
other ; Italian of various kinds is found within the Peninsula, and round the shores of the Mediter- 
ranean ; and German in great variety is spoken both among the States included under the " geogra- 
phical expression," and also in the border countries. The same may be said in a greater or less degree 
of other countries of Europe ; and, in Spain, not only arc the natives of the ancient Kingdoms still 
distinguishable, but even those of their constituent Provinces. 

The same law applied to the languages which are now "dead." The known varieties in the 
Latin have reference to time rather than to place, its purity being reckoned by ages or periods ; but 
even geographically, at Pramestc, which is not far from Pome, "instead of ciconia they said Iconia." 
The contemporary varieties of Greek are noticed in the most ordinary grammars and other school- 
bunks : nor are wo to suppose that the four forms usually enumerated were the only ones, though, 
no doubt, they were the principal. The dialects of the Hebrew language arc noticed at two points 
of its history, twelve centuries apart. In the days of Jephtha, the men of Gilead slew the Eph- 
raimitcs at the fords of the Jordan, having identified each by his pronunciation of a selected word ; 
and again, when the disciple, Peter, had denied his Master, the hearers were unconvinced, the 
ground of their doubt being that he spoke with a Gallilean accent. 

Accordingly, the existence of provincial peculiarities in the English language ought not to sur- 
prise us : they are not exceptions, but illustrations of a general rule. The educated Englishman 
can tell the native districts of twenty or thirty different persons, without any aid from the parish 
register. He identifies one as a native of Cork ; and others as from Aberdeen, Belfast, Lonelon, 
Xewcastle-on-Tyne, or Perwiek-on-Twecd. He tlistinguishcs the natives of Connaught, from those 
of Londonderry or Dublin; separates the Yorkshireman from his brother of Lancashire; the 
nortlu ni Welshman from the southern Welshman; the English-speaking Gael from the Saxon Scot; 
and, among this last class, can even assign geographical limits to some of its component members. 

The tine.' gn at division ; of English, Scottish, and Irish provincialisms constitute only the rough 

outlines of a general classification; and, in any one of the three countries, these are almost all that 

are recognised in reference to the other two. Li addition to them, however, there exist subordinate 

tii s of great interest, which are confined to separate shires, as Cuml crland, Here;' rd, Lin- 


coin ; or sets of shires, as East Anglia, Northumbria, the south-east, the west ; or portions of shires, 
as Exmoor, Carlisle, Pilling, lloehdale, London, and the West- riding of Yorkshire. Forms of sen- 
tences are retained in one locality which have been extinct for centuries in others ; peculiar terms 
with perhaps collateral customs, illustrate the character of the population in mediaeval or even ancient 
times ; while whole classes of words lingering among certain grades of the population, enable us like 
n geologist examining the ripple-marks locked up in a slab of sand-stone to predicate something with 
certainty respecting the tides of population which have flowed over a district. The subject of mere 
pronunciation, though less interesting, is still very interesting. Thus we see the almost exclusive 
use of the voice consonants among " the Zedlanders" in " Zummezetzheer ;" the voiceless, on the 
Welsh Marches, as in the use of Taffy for Davy ; the interchange of v and iv among Cockneys, as 
illustrated in the conversations of " Sam Weller ;" the use of Scottish forms of vowels prevalent in 
Yorkshire ; the apparent hostility to the correct use of h, in Lancashire ; and the indescribable 
" hurr" of the north part of Northumberland. The publications connected with the Dialects of Eng- 
land proper are so numerous, that their titles alone have constihited a separate bibliographical work 
for neaidy twenty years ; and of humorous treatises written in local dialects, sometimes many 
thousands of copies are sold. 

What is known as the " Scottish dialect," is in like manner not one, but many. The ear of a Xorth 
Briton distinguishes in a moment a native of Edinburgh from one of Glasgow ; a Berwickshire man 
from a Dumfries or Ayrshire man; and, generally, any of these from a person born north of the 
Highland line. While the English spoken is comparatively pure in Inverness, it is execrable in 
Aberdeen; and, in some parts, such as Orkney and Shetland, it possesses peculiarities of great ethnolo- 
gical interest. The remark of Lord Jeffrey, that the Scotch is a separate national language, not a 
vulgar local dialect is true, but with important modifications. So long as Scotland was a separate 
kingdom, with a separate metropolis, local aristocracy, and scat of legislation, there was no unanswer- 
able reason win* she should recognise English standards, or England, Scottish ones. Scotland had kept 
nearer to the original Saxon tonguo which prevails in both countries, while England had diverged 
considerably from it. In short, the two had ideas and standards of their own, wholly independent 
of each other, and were in a position analogous to that of England anil the 1 nited States of 
America, at present ; or rather they resembled the independent States of Europe, which speak the 
German or Italian language. But when London became the metropolis of Great Britain, in 1707. 
as it bad practically been for a century before, even the language of a former king [James L] would 
have been vulgar and barbarous; and it became the duty of every scholar to purify himself from 
local peculiarities of diction, and to mould both bis speech and his writing according to the best ex- 
amples in the united country. In after years, the language of Bamsay, Ferguson, Tannahill, and 
Barns, wa.s admired on totally different grounds ; but it was provincial and vulgar, in the same 
manner, though not in the same degree, as the ''brogue" of a Connaughtman. 

The Irish dialect of English, which these remarks are intended to illustrate, can scarcely be 

Vol.. VI. o 


spoken of as an existing fact before the beginning of the eighteenth century. The English settlers 
of the Tale remained a set of distinct colonists till the close of Elizabeth's reign ; more exclusive than 
an ordinary garrison of ancient Rome was in a conquered territory, and in some respects like the 
present English at the Cape of Good Hope, or the French in Africa. The native Irish and they 
communicated with each other, it is true, but they spoke separate languages, and there was no 
fusion of the populations. Even after English law and order had been extended to the whole 
country, it was many years before anything like a dialect for the island could be said to exist. The 
older settlers were English by descent, who had adopted a few Celtic words for the expression of new 
ideas, and who had, no doubt, modified their utterance of vowel and consonant sounds, in the course 
of time, to harmonise with the predominant ones in their vicinity. The new immigrants from Eng- 
land spoke the language of the several districts from which they had come : and the Scotch settlers 
in the maritime counties preserved their own dialect with little or no alteration from that of their 
mother-country. The civilised Celts, on the other hand, spoke what is called "broken English.'" 
In the ballads of the republican and revolutionary periods of English history, the Celtic Irishman is 
i-( presented as using language similar to that which is found in the " Banjo" songs of modern times ; 
and the language of the old dramatists in their case differs very little from that which is put into the 
month of a modern Negro, in similar circumstances. Those who are familiar with the doggerel 
lines known as " Lilliburlero," have a favourable specimen of it ; and one sees part of the reason 
for the effect which this song produced, in the low intellectual grade which was thus evidently at- 
tributed to the persons represented. 

During the greater part of last century, the language in Ireland was in a transition state. The 
inhabitant of a mountainous region, or a native of the south or west, though speaking English as his 
native tongue, and able to express himself with fluency and ease, was noticeable in a moment ; and the 
writers of fictitious tales (including Miss Edgeworth) have made merry with those who thought their 
tongues would not betray the land of their nativity. In the Scottish districts, oil the other hand, 
Hums' 8 Poems were better known a than in man}- portions of North Britain itself; and the rustic 
poets in Ulster, especially in Down, Antrim, and Londonderry, seemed to let their ideas flow in- 
sensibly in Scottish verse. There were two reasons, however, for the practice. One was, that their 
taste had been formed almost exclusively on Scottish models ; b the other, that by using more or 

* The writer has known a child, six years old, able to 
repeat most of Ramsay's Gentle Shej/herd ; and such 
ballads as Johnnie Armstrong, Sir Patrick Spens, Annie 
O'Lochran, Lady Margery, &c, areas well known as 
Cowper's J>>hn Gilpin. There are hundreds of these 
traditional ballads, Scotch and English, which the 
reciti rs have never seen in print, but which they receive, 
and transmit orally. 

b Burns's favourite style of verse, as exemplified in bis 
Addresses to a Haggis, to a Daisy, kc. ; and in Death and 
Dr. Hornbook, as well as in most of bis Epistles, is also 
a favourite one in the North of Ireland ; being, no 
doubt, imitated from him. 

" Wee, modest, crimson-tippet tiow'r, 

Tbou'st met me in an evil hour ; 
For I maun crush amang the stoure 

Thy slender stem ; 
To spare thee now is past, my pow'r, 

Thou bonnie gem." 

Roueht Burns, Ayrshire. 
Then worst of all, the weaving trade 
I had to yield, and lift the spade, 
As only half my time I staid 

Where I was bound ; 
The cause of which, work was ill paid, 

The nation round." 

Peter Burns, Ihwnshire. 


fewer Scotticisms at will, they liad nearly a double power in the matter of rhymes. In the English 
districts, the genuine English form of the language prevailed throughout ; but it was spoken with a 
provincial accent down to .the beginning of the present century. In Ulster there is a tradition that 
the language is spoken in most purity about Lisburn ; but this notion must have originated more 
than a century ago, at a period when the children and grand-children of the original settlers still 
survived, and the statement was unquestionably true. 

The Irish dialect, in the sense in which it is used here, is not much older than the present cen- 
tury : for the fusion of the various portions into one homogeneous mass was previously incomplete. 
Many of the characteristic terms of it arc now disappearing ; for a higher intellectual tone has been 
given to the population by the Xational Schools, so that the words not found in printed books arc 
in a great degree disused by the rising generation. Of course there are broad distinctive features 
which mark the four Provinces ; and there are even peculiarities of Counties, or occasionally those 
of Parishes or smaller districts. These it is unnecessary to notice at present. It is curious to ob- 
serve, however, that, though the local peculiarities in Ireland are discernible by the Irish them- 
selves, they ignore the more general characteristics which belong to the whole island. Tims, the 
inhabitant of each Province distinguishes a person from any of the other three ; or the native of one 
County or Barony recognises the native of another; but he fails to distinguish between what is 
local and special on the one hand, and what is purely generic on the other. In like manner the 
members of a private family recognise each other by their differences, and at last wonder that any 
one can perceive a resemblance ; while a stranger notices at once the feature common to all, and 
marks it down, but it requires some familiarity to recognise the specific differences of individuals. 

If, for the sake of distinction, we call the Irish dialect a national one ; it is obvious that it has less 
comprehension of characteristics than the provincial ones, and greater extension geographically or nu- 
merically. It drops the characteristics which prevail exclusively in Belfast, Cork, Dublin, or Galway, 
and embraces those only which are common to the whole thirty-two counties. Jt has been frequently 
brought before the public, but is especially known through Carleton's Traits and Stories of tl 
Irish Peasantry. In the more recent edition of that work, the author informs us tint at first hi> 
narrative was far more Irish than it became subsequently; but that the public taste would not now 
hear the dialect in its broadest form. The truth is, that the writer was at first too accmatc in his 
representations of dialogue ; for, by the aid of a very retentive memory, some of the sentences were 
almost literally what had occurred in his native district. They were, tin ix fore, ^roiincial pictures, not 
national" ones; and the public, as well as the author, are much indebted to the person who advised 

'Pi- Scottish idiom and words, as giv< n by Scott, in to the option and taste of the writer _ When I.urns de- 

the Wavcriy V>wls, are recognised as national in every cided on appropriating a song of Bishop Percy's, he 

part of t lie 'country ; but the Scotch of (J alt will always altered only three words in the first line, Oh ! \nnnin 

interfere with the popularity of his writings because "it wilt thou ijmvj wi' me;" bid the singer, guided by this 

is low and provincial Sometimes a poem is Scotticised fact. Scotticises those Enelish words that admit of Uio 

or Hihenneisrd by a single characteristic word or two, proofs, all through. Thus, "town"' and '* gown." in 

as distinctly as by a thousand; and as dialects exist, the first stanza, become h-< 'i and 
in fact, in every degree of intensity, there is much left 


this alteration it is said, the late Rev. Caesar Otway. The Hibcmic dialect is often represented 
quite too accurately by Lover ; he fails in the process of generalising, and mingles with the pure 
vim' of racy Hibernicisms the dregs of provincial speech. 

During the present century a great deal has been done towards the identification of parts of our 
standard English classics with our provincial English dialects ; on the same principle by which 
Homeric forms of expression lingered, some here, some there, through ancient Greece, nearly a 
thousand years after " the blind old man" had gone to rest. There are Spenserian expressions and 
Chaucerisms to be found yet among the peasantry, probably in every county in the British Isles. 
The lower classes of society do not change their fashions in dress, manners, or language, so rapidly 
or so frequently as the middle and upper classes do ; and thus archaic forms, which were supposed 
to have perished long ago, are found to survive in obscure spots beside us. Great credit is due to 
the literary antiquaries who have illustrated Shakspeare and "rare Ben Johnson" from the lips of 
our working men, and who have elucidated our various local d dialects from the writings of almost 
ail our mediaeval English writers. On the one hand, they have given a dignity and an importance to 
expressions which are now contemptuously designated as vulgar, and have shown that certain literary 
inquiries cannot be prosecuted successfully without a knowledge of popular speech. On the other 
hand, the obscure and neglected writings of the past come home to us with renewed force and 
beauty, when Ave find their characteristic expressions still interwoven with domestic life among us. 
Some inquirers have mingled the illustration of manners and customs'" with that of language, and 
have thus given a double interest to their researches. 

It has sometimes been surmised, but the fact is not generally known, that for the purposes of 
philology, criticism, and literary history, the dialect of the English language in Ireland is one of 
the most interesting in existence. Its basis is the old English of the era of Elizabeth, as spoken by 
the middle classes and yeomanry from before the period of James I. till the Rest T.'?.tion. In general 
it was carried to Ireland at the re-settlement of the country ; on which occasion almost every por- 
tion of Great Britain contributed its quota of poptilation. These carried over many words which 
were probably unknown in any of the districts separately ; and the difficulty of communication with 

{i " Much of the peculiarity of dialect, prevalent in specimens of the various dialects." Bosworlh's Anylo- 

Anglo-Saxon times, is preserved even to the present day Saxon Dictionary, Preface. 

in the provincial dialects of the same districts. In these e '' No inconsiderable part of this work relates to diet, 

local dialects, remnants of the Anglo-Saxon tongue may dress, buildings, employments, sports, and amusements, 

be found, in its least altered, most uncorrupt. and, there- municipal regulations, legal terms, religious ceremonies, 

fore, most perfect state- Having a strong and expressive names both of persons and places, popular customs; 

language ot their own, the people had little desire and few and. in every department of them, one of my leading aims 

opportunities to adopt foreign idioms or pronunciation, has been to show that the knowledge of words is neither 

and thus to corrupt the purity of their ancient language. the least compendious, nor the least sure way of coming 

Our present polished phrase and fashionable pronun- to the knowledge of things. I have likewise ventured 

ciation are often new ; and, as deviating from primitive occasionally to introduce literary remarks and eriti- 

usage, faulty and corrupt. We are, therefore, much in- cisms, illustrations of obscure and difficult passages in 

debted to those zealous and patriotic individuals who ancient, English and Scottish historians and poets, and 

have referred us to the archaisms of our nervous Ian- not a few on the Scriptures them -elves." Original Vro- 

guage, by publishing provincial glossaries, and giving spectus to Boucher's Archaic Glossary. 


other parts of the empire previous to the application of steam, prevented the introduction of any very 
marked changes subsequently. The original colonists of Xcw England, in like manner, carried over 
with them the language and manners of their own time ; hut, unlike their countrymen in Ireland, 
they were not a separate people. A continuous stream of immigration from many points removed 
everything like fixity of character ; so that the very last place to which we should think of turning 
for any illustrative trait of the Pilgrim Fathers is the spot in which they found a home. 

In addition to the Scottish poetry produced in Ulster, other varieties of English existed in Ireland 
before the assimilation had taken place to its present extent. The Fingallians, near Dublin, had a dia- 
lect of their own, a glossary f of which is still preserved ; and the inhabitants of the barony of Forth, in 
Wexford, presented an address g to the Lord Lieutenant, in the ancient dialect of the district, about 
the year 183G. At the present moment, thousands of single words and idiomatic expressions, which 
do not belong to pure English, can be identified with those which are still used by the populace in 
different parts of Ireland; and the same words, or others, however vulgar they may be supposed to 
be now, can be shown to be identical with the courtly phrase and standard literature of the olden 
time. The truth of this, and of much more to the same purpose, is not only a probability, but an 
established fact. The words have been collected, over a period of nearly a quarter of a century, and 
their illustrative bearing has been noted at the same time. In that period, a considerable number 
which appear in their alphabetical places have disappeared from among the population ; and if 
another generation were permitted to pass away, the character and interest of the Hibemic dialect 
would, it is to be feared, be practically lost for ever. Many of these words admit of a three-fold illus 
tration. A qitotation from Chaucer, Layamon, or Shakspeare, for instance, shows that the term is pre- 
served in our old English literature ; another, from a tract illustrative of an English provincial 
dialect, shows the paternal spot on which it is still found; and a quotation from some of the Ilibernic 
('lassies, or from the popular Ballad Poetry of Ireland, establishes its use there. A very large num- 
ber of words and phrases, however, do not admit of such extensive illustration, though they appear 
in one or two of these sets of authorities. 

As it is intended to give, in the pages of this Journal, at least copious illustrations of this Die - 
tio.vahy of Htberxicisms, any extended reference to it would be premature; it may be sufficient to 
enumerate a few of the points which it will illustrate. 

A coincidence of ideas is to be expected ; but sometimes it meets us in forms that are very in- 
teresting. For example, there is an Irish superstition that a mother who suffers her child to be 
reared apart from her, and who at length loses it by death, will not know it in heaven; though 
this idea is also provident elsewhere. It receives a beautiful illustration in Shakspeare' s King John, h 
when Constance' appeals to Fandulph the Legate, respecting her son Arthur, that he will pine 

f Only two copies arc known to exist, one in tin 1 pos- Mrs. Hull's lr,ln\d. 

session of the writer, find the other in the collection of : \<-\ 111.. Simmii-4. 

Lord Talbot do Malahido. : Another idea of tier's may be placed ill amusing eon- 

- This is printed, willi a modern version, in Mr and trast with a modern one, thus : 


away as a prisoner, and that she will not recognise him in the next world. But the topics most inti- 
mately connected with the subject are old words, j quaint expressions, 11 terms of Celtic origin, 1 well- 
known words used with a wrong meaning," 1 (i.e., too limited, or too extended, ) grammatical 
peculiarities, 1 " dialectic and vulgar forms of correct English words,' 1 &c. Of some of these, single 
illustrations are given below. 

It may be satisfactory to the reader to allude more pointedly to one subject pronunciation. 
Nothing is more certain than that several sounds which arc Irish to-day, and, therefore, classed 
with impure English, were pure classic English more or less than a century ago. It is difficult to 
prove what the sounds of a language were at any previous period, and hence the doubt which hangs 
over the Roman pronunciation of Latin ; but happily, English poetry, which is regulated by sounds 
as well as measures, affords us material aid on this point. An analysis of Pope's rhymes is extremely 
interesting. It exhibits a vast number of singular coincidences, which are evidently not individual 
efforts to help the rhyme, but the application of certain understood principles, the nature of which 
our extensive induction now enables us fully to understand. Thus, " Rome" is pronounced Room* 
in the two instances in which it occurs, and is rhymed with doom ; (Scott, in Marmion, rhymes i 
with tomb ;) "devil" is divil,* rhymed in every instance with civil ; "none" is noanf correspond- 
ing to own, stone, alone ; " yet" is yit ; u " spirit" is sperrit ; T and so of many others. 

There arc two English words, blood, andjiood, in which the diphthong oo has the force of short u; 
while in other cases it is sounded as in food. Rut the populace of almost every district in the 

" My grief's so groat, 
That no supporter but the huge firm earth 
Can hold it up-" King John, iii. 1. 
"With the weight of your grief, now I tell you, 
You'll break down the three-legged stool." 

Lover. 1'oji. Song. 
J ''The land fornenst the Greekish shore he hold, 
From Sangar's mouth to crook VI Meander's fall." 
Fairfax's Tasso, ix. 4. 
" I'm not savin' you wouldn't call me a liar as soon 
fornhint [fore-anent] my face, your honour." Lover, 
Baddy the Sport. 

t^And though I might, yet would I nat doe so, 
But eari'st thou playin' raket to and fro 
Natlh in dock out, now this now that Pandare, 
Now fouie fall her for thy wo that care- 

Chaucer's Tro. and Ores., iv- 46\. 
i Mudyarn ["nniddya arran,"ihe bread-stick] a tripod 
of wood, to support farrels or quadrants of oat-cake, 
which are harnin' [hardening] before the fire. 

Learn, to teach. " If thy children will keep my cove- 
nant and my testimonies that I shall learn them, ("teach," 
Authorized Version.) Psal. Ixxxii., 13- 
Now cheare up, Sire Abbot, did you never hear yet 
That a fool he may learn a wise man witt. 

Old Ballad K. John and, Ab- of Canterbury. 
It's long before you'd think of larnin him his prayers, 
or his catechiz. Cart.eton /' F- and Funeral. 
n Travel, to go on foot. 
j Sore-foot, a misfortune of any kind. 

P For example, new conjunctions, still-an'-with-all 
moreover-nor-that, when done. 

q Bother, for pot tier, fordther for furtherance, leggin' 
[of a cooper's vessel] for ledging 
r From the same foes, at last both felt their doom, 
And the same age saw learning fall, and Home, 

Pope Essay on Criticism. 
< These I could bear, but not a rogue so civil, 
Whose tongue will compliment you to the Devil- 
Pope. January and May. 
'" 'Tis with our judgment as our watches; none 
Go just alike, yet each believes his men. 

Pope. Essay on Criticism, 10. 
u I've had, myself, full many a merry fit, 
And trust in Heaven 1 may have' many yet- 

Port. Wife of Bath.. 
v Behold, Sir Balaam, now a man of spirit. 
Ascribes his gettings to his parts and merit. 

Pope. Moral Essays. 
Praise to thy eternal merit 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

Ordination Service. 
That's beautiful sperils, anyhow, 

Lever. 0' M alley- 
With a right heroic spirit 

lie was even, more endued; 
Fame and. glory did he merit, 
And his toes he still subdued. 

Choker's Hist Songs of Ireland. 


British islands, and certainly of all the four provinces in Ireland, adopt the short a in a certain 
sot of words, e.g., gud, stud, wild, shod, &c. jSow, it is remarkable that Pope, in sixty-nine couplets, 
lias the pronunciation stud (for stood J forty-eight times, ivud (for would) seventeen times, and gud 
(for good) four times; but such words an food, wood, snood, are never pronounced with the short w 
by the populace, neither do we find one instance of it in all his voluminous writings. The follow- 
ing parallel explains itself: 

Classic English. 
Thus round Pelitles, breathing war and blood, 
Greece, sheath'd in arms, beside her vessels stood. 
Pope. Horn. IL, xx, 22. 

Soon pass'd beyond their sight, I left the flood, 
And took the spreading shelter of the wood. 

Pope. Earn. Odys., xiv., 388, 


My lord, this moment, as I firmly stood, 
Lodg'd in my post, near the adjoining wood. 

Battle of Aughrim, p. 25. 

I strove in vain, and by his side I stood, 
Till as you see, I dyed my sword in blood- 
Ibid, p. 18. 

One of the most characteristic pronunciations in the Irish dialect is the substitution of the sound 
a, as in tabic, for e as in hero. This occurs not only when the sound is represented by the diphthong 
ea, as in sag for " sea," but also in other words, as complate, desave. In this instance, also, we can 
quote an analogy; for "break," "great," and "steak," still require the diphthong to receive the 
Irish sound. Xow, the writings of Pope exhibit no fewer than seventy-six examples of this pro- 
nunciation, in cases where we should now call it decidedly vulgar, did we not know how to make 
allowance for the changes of time. It is interesting to compare, with the examples from Pope and 
others, a genuine specimen of Hibernic literature ; and such we find in a dramatic pamphlet just 
quoted, of very extensive circulation in Ireland, entitled the Battle of Aughrim and Siege of London- 
derry. Other illustrations arc readily procured. 

Classic English. Hibernicisms. 

Hi re thou, great Anna, whom three realms obey, Led by brave Captain Sandays, who with fame 

Dost sometimes counsel take, and sometimes tea. Pluug'd to the middle in the rapid stream. 

Pope. Rape of t/ie Lock, iii. Battle of Aughrim. p 6. 

The plots are fruitless which my foe 

Unjustly did eone* ivc : 
The pit he digg'd for me has prov'd 

His own untimely grave. 

Tate and Brady. Fsabn,'" viii., 14. 

God moves in a mysterious w<vj, 

His wonders to perform ; 
He plants his lootsteps in the sea. 

And rides upon the storm. 

Newton, Psalm xxxvi. 

Without your aid, I will the foe defeat, 
To free my country and my lost estate. 

Ibid, p. 10. 

Or as two friends, who with remorse survey 
Their vessels sever*d on the raging sea ; 
Each gets a plank, and his companion leaves 
To the wild mercy of the raging waves. 

Ibid, p. 30. 

There are forty-seven examples in this version of the Psalms. 


I am monarch of all I survey. 
My right there is none to dispute ; 

From the centre all round to the sea, 
I am lord of the fowl and the brute. 


Some, in his bottle of leather so great, 

Will carry home daily both barley and wheat. 


The town of Passage is large and spacious, 

And situated upon the sea; 
Tis nate and daycent, and quite convaynient 

To come from Cork on a summer's day. 

Choker's Pop. Songs* of Ireland. 

And there's Katty Ncal, 
And her cow I'll go bail. 

Lover. Popular Song. 

In a few instances, the fragrance of the shamrock has adhered even to our distinguished writers ; 
and occasionally through life. The poems of Parnell, for example, present a still larger propor- 
tion of If ibernicisnis than those of Pope ; and the Battle of the Frogs and Mice, frequently printed 
along with the poems of Pope, affords a ready instance of comparison. Some of Goldsmith's 
words remind us of the banks of the Shannon : the following is an interesting specimen. In a 
great part of Ireland, "vault" is sounded vau't ; and, in like manner, "fault" is fail' t. 


If I don't be able to shine, it wiil bo none o' my fa n't. 
Carleton, Valentine M c Clutchy. 

Classic English. 
Whan that she swouned 

Next for faitte of blood. 

Chaucer. Cant Talcs. 

Let him not dare to vent his dangerous thought 
A noble fool was never in & fault. 

Pope. January and May. 

But mine the pleasure, mine the fault.. 

And well my life shall pay ; 
I'll seek the solitude he sought. 

And stretch me where he lay. 

Goldsmith Hermit. 

Yet he was kind, or if severe in aught 
The love he bore to learning was in fault. 

Goldsmith Deserted Village. 

God pardon me for cursin' the harmless crathurs, for 
sure, Sir, 'tisn't their faults. Carleton, 1'oor Scholar. 

Other points relating to this subject will he noticed in future communications ; but the writer 
requests that the present may be regarded merely as a sketch, in part suggestive and in part ex- 
planatory. Anything like an attempt at an analysis of the Hibernic dialect of the English, in a 
short paper such as this, has been studiously avoided. A. Huaik. 

* In the poem entitled Doneraile Litany (Croker, p. 
1 84) there are only forty-two couplets, in each of which 
the word Doneraile is rhymed. Eight instances of this 

Hibernicism occur, as it is rhyned^with seal, veal, wtal, 
peal, meal, steal re-veal, con-gel. 



The two following documents relating to the history of Hugh, Earl of Tyrone, are now laid 
before the reader in a printed form for the first time. 

No I. is a military order or proclamation issued by Hugh, Earl of Tyrone, on the 2nd of Feb- 
ruary, 1601, nearly one year previously to his defeat at Kinsale, 3rd of January, 1602. The 
language is technical, and exceedingly curio as; the exact spelling of the words, both in the Irish 
original and the contemporary English translation, being preserved in this publication ; and two pa- 
ragraphs left untranslated by the Government interpreter, are rendered literally by the present 
Editor. The name of this interpreter has not been discovered. 1 

No. II. is a letter from Sir Geoffrey Eenton, chief Irish Sccrctaiy, and was written to Sir llobert 
Cecil, on the 5th of December, 1601, immediately after the Ulster chieftains had set out for Kin- 
sale, to assist the Spaniards. The reference to Tyrone's private family is very curious, and shows 
what accurate information had been communicated to the Irish secretary by his spies in Ulster. 
The descendants of Cormack, Tyrone's brother, referred to in this document, are still extant in 
Tyrone, under the name of MacBaron. 

Of the history of Hugh, the famous Earl of Tyrone, but little is known previous to the year 1585, 
when he was declared by the parliament then assembled in Dublin to be the true heir of Con, the 
first Earl of Tyrone. Shane O'Neill, the celebrated chief or prince of Tyrone, had asserted and 
offered to prove in England, in 1562, that Matthew, the father of this Hugh, was an illegitimate 
son of Con, the first Earl, and that he (Shane) himself was the true heir to the earldom ; but though 
this illegitimacy was much talked of, and intended to be thoroughly examined into, from 1562 till 
1567, a parliament convened by Pcrrott in the year 1585, in Dublin, decided that Hugh, the 
son of Matthew, was the true heir to the earldom of Tyrone. The subject, however, still remains 
in profound darkness, and will remain so for ever unless (he State Papers happen to contain 

/Ife was probably William Doync. or Sir Patrick Irish language well, was sent ft prisoner to England 
Crosby, The great Florence MncOarthy, who knew the some short time before- 


some correspondence on this state secret. Ferdoragh, or Matthew, the supposed bastard, eldest son 
of Con, first Earl of Tyrone, married Joan, the daughter of Maguire, (Cueonnaght,) and she had 
for him two sons Hugh, afterwards Earl of Tyrone, and Cormae mac Baron. Matthew was 
slain by his brother Shane in 1558, at which time (lie great Hugh must have been some years old ; 
but nothing has been yet discovered to prove the year of his death. The Four Masters state that 
he died in 1616 at an advanced age; but as the same annalists inform us that his mother lived till 
the 2:2nd of June, 1600, he cannot have been very old iu 1616. 

Xo mention is made of Hugh, the great Earl of Tyrone, by the Four Masters before the jear 
1585, when, as has been already remarked, he was declared by the Irish parliament to be the true 
heir to the earldom. In 1587 these annalists state that he had married Joan, 1 ' aunt of the 
celebrated Hugh Roe O'Donuell, 1 (the daughter of Hugh, son of Manus O'Donnell,) but of the 
year in which this marriage took place, or of his age at the time, they afford us no information 
whatever. After the death of his father, Matthew, Baron of Dungannon, Hugh appears to have 
become a state prisoner, and to have been, like the young Earl of Desmond, brought up in the 
Tower of London, where he acquired that knowledge of fine English composition for which Sir 
Richard Cox gives him credit ; but we have as yet no particulars connected with his early history 
from any published documents. 

It appears from the State Papers that he had been married twice, and once divorced, before the 
year 1591, when he fell in love witli the youngest daughter of Marshal Bagnal, whom he married 
in that year. I T p to this time he had been loyal to the English government, and during the rebel- 
lion of the Earl of Desmond he had served in the Queen's service as captain of horse. He remained 
faithful to the English, though wavering, till the year 159o, when he was wounded in a battle 
with Maguire, at a ford on the river Erne, near Bollock. [Sec O'Sullevan Beare's History of the 
Irish Catholics, torn. iii. Kb. ii. cc. 7 and 10.] He was driven to disaffection by Marshal Bagnal, 
whose sister he had married, and who impeached him of divers treasons, to which he replied, and 
offered even to appear in England, and there to defend his cause, or to maintain his innocence in 
single combat with his adversary. Captain Thomas Lee, who had commanded some troops in 
various posts on the frontiers of Lister, daring the Lord Deputy Fitz William's administration, 
and who was well acquainted with the machinations of Bagnal against the Earl of Tyrone, wrote 
the following curious remarks on the dissensions between them : 

"And then I am persuaded he (the Earl of Tyrone) will simply acknowledge to your Majesty 
how far he hath offended you ; and besides, notwithstanding his protection, he will, if it so stand 
with jfour Majesty's pleasure, offer himself to the Marshal (who hath been the chicfest instrument 

'" Joan the aunt, <)". The earl himself states, in a letter ried O'Donnolhs daughter. See Proceedings and Papers 

to the Lords of the Council, that he had been married of the Kikenny Archaeological Society, March, 1857, p. 

to Sir Brian M-ic Phelim's daughter, from whom lie was 808. 
divorced, by orders of the church, long before he mar- 


against him) to prove with his sword that he hath most wrongfully accused him ; and because it is 
no conquest for him to overthrowe a man ever held in the world to be of most cowardly behaviour 
he will, in defence of his innocency, allow his adversary to come armed against him, naked, to en- 
courage him the rather to accept of las challenge. I am bold to say tbus much for the Earl, be- 
cause I know his valour, and am persuaded he will perform it." 

The youngest daughter of the elder Marshal Bagnal, and youngest sister of the younger Marshal, 
Tyrone's deadly enemy, did not live to see the mortal struggle between her husband and her bro- 
ther. ~ She died in January, 1.396, two years and a-half before the "'Journey to the Blackwater " 
where O'Xeill slew Marshal Bagnal and gained a complete victory over the Queen's forces. 

His subsequent history, up to his flight in 1G07, is rather fully given by the Four Masters, by 
P. O'Sullevan Bcare, by Fynes Moryson in bis History of (lie Rebellion of Hugh, Earl of Tip-one 
by Sir George Carewjn his Pacata Hibernia, and by Peregrine O'Clery in the Life of Hugh Roe 
O'Donnell. But there is a very curious account of his proceedings, from his flight in 1607 till his 
death in 1616, given in an Irish MS. on paper, consisting of 150 closely written pages, now pre- 
served in the College of St. Isidore at Home, of which I have printed the first page (from a fac- 
simile sent me by the late Dr. Lyons, of Kilmore, Erris,) in my edition of tin 1 Annals of the Four 
Masters, A.D. 1607, pp. 2352, 2358. I trust that some friend about to visit Pome will eopy this 
document for the Lister Journal of Arehceology ; and I know of no one more competent than the 
venerable Dr. Magettigan, B.C. Bishop of Baphoe, who, to his profound knowledge of the classics 
and the modern languages of Europe, adds a rare knowledge of his own native Irish dialect. 

It is stated by Dubourdieu in his Statist teal Surrey of t lie County of Bonn, p. 312, that there is a 
picture of this famous Earl in the possession of the Earl of Leicester. The great English antiquarv 
Camdcn, thus (imitating Sallust) describes his characteristics in his Annals of the Reign of Eliza- 
beth, A.D. 1590 : 

"Corpus laborum, vigilia?, ct inedite paLms, industria magna, animus ingens, maximisque par 
negotiis, militias multa scientia, ad simuhmdum animi altitudo profunda, adeo ut nonulli eum 
vel maximo Hibernia) bono vel malo naturo tune procdixerint." 

The following account, of the translation of his remains from the Church of St. Peter, in Mon- 
torio, at Rome, in which he was buried in 1616, is found in a MS. in the Burgundian Library at 
Brussels, (Xo. 5095,) a copy of the Martyrology of Donegal: 

"in S. Pedro Montis Aurei Ronue, cum septennio post obitum Merit translatio eximii Domini 
Comilis Tironhc c sepulchre Apostolorum, in vent a> sunt amba: manus integnv, quanim a.] 
conspectum (luaidiani loci Petri de Roma: Eve, inquit, lunediche manus ijunc sa?pc lnfa 1 
sunt in sanguine lueri iicoruiu it propriu suuorc pro iide ct patria." 

loIIN < rj)o.\-|)V\N, 


No. I. 
Carew Collection, No. 614 : folio 186. In Lambeth Library. 
A n-ainm Dia. Ag so mar fhostus* O'Neill buannadha.f Ar tuss do'n ched saighdiuir cedpontdo 
thuarustal 'sa raithe, 7 fiche ponta d'uaislc leith-bhliadhna, acht in uaisle d' fhaghail 'sa ched 
raithe; 7 da m-brisedh in buanna ar in tighearna fa gan anmhain aigc in ath-raithc, aisscagar 
in uaisle chom in tighearna : 7 madli e in tighearna dhiultus do'n hhuanna fa gan a fhostadh 
in ath-raithc, in uaisle ng an buanna. Is amhlaidh dhioltar in tuarustal, gach meide nach 
fFui-hther 'n a airged do do dliiol mar so : in loilghech no in mart ionlaoigh do ehor amaeh is 
na fiachaibh a n-imcochaidh si eidir iocadhaibh 7 sgologaiph in tire ; in t-arm 7 in t-edach do 
ehor amaeh a n-diol in tuarustail do radh na marusgal. Biadh in t-saighdiuir 'sa raithe 
xvii. meadair ime, do thomhus galuin na Loinne, 7 fichc medar mine ; 7 d' fhiaehaihh 
ar in tir lcith in bhidh phaidhedh, eeithri sgillingi 'sa meadar co n-a mhin ; 7 breith in mharas- 
gail 7 in hhuanna do phaidhedh 'sa leith eilc do'n bhiadh 'san ait nach ffuighther in hiadh 'na 
bliiadli fein. Cead caoicdhisi, o 16 a fhasta amaeh, ag an buanna chom a bhidh do thoghhail, 7 e 
ag caithemh ar a aimsir in chaoicdhis sin ; 7 da ffanadh so on chaoicdhis sin amaeh, leth choroin 
mar chain ag an tighearna ah gach en la bhias so amoigh. 

* Fliosdus. The verb Josdadh or fostadh, is still the 
common "word employed throughout Ireland, for "to 
hire'' a servant. The Lister pronunciation of the word, 
however, is fasta ; which leads us at once to the root, 
viz., the Scandinavian and Gothic fast, " firm," the same 
as the English fast: so that the Irish fasta. or fostadh, 
would literally mean " to fasten," to "bind fast." The 
same root is found, with various modifications, in all the 
Teutonic languages; Anglo-Saxon, first, German, Jest, 
butch and Flemish, vast, Frisian, fist. That the word 
was applied by the Northmen to the making of con- 
tracts, is proved by the old name for a particular kind of 
marriage-contract among the ancient Danes Hire says : 
(Glossar. Suio-Goth. voce, " Hand-festing :") Hand jest- 
ing, promissio qua; fit stipulata manu, sive cives iidem 
suam principi spondeaut, sive mutuant inter se matri- 
monium inituri, a phrasi /asm hand, qua} notat dextram 
dextne jungere-" This custom also prevailed in sonic 
parts of Scotland. Pennant, in his Tour, alludes to it 
under the same name: and says that in Eskdale, about 
a century before he wrote, "unmarried persons made 
the engagement by joining hands, and living together for 
a year: after which time, if either party dissented, the 
engagement was void." He says this curious custom 
seems to have originated from the want of clergy, in 
some districts, at the time of the Reformation. Martin, 
in his Western Islands of Scotland, mentions the same 
practice as having existed in the Highlands. 

The word is still used in the original sense in pome 
parts of England. At llolderncss, servants are engaged 
once a year in the market-places of Iledon and Pat ring- 
ton, and a.small sum is given, by way of earnest, to each 
servant hired, and is called the F<st. In Scotch, "to 
I'fstyn" signifies " to enter into a legal engagement that 

one person should work under another." 

We still preserve in English the idea of fastening, in the 
phrase ''to bind an apprentice." It is worth noting, 
too, that the same idea, expressed by another word of 
cognate meaning, is found in the Italian forma, " the 
period for which a servant is hired ;" from fermo, " Arm, 
fast," (Latin firmus.) Is it not likely that our word ''to 
farm," i-e., to let out on certain conditions, may come 
from this root, although other derivations have been 
proposed'? The French have fermc, ''a farm," and 
ajfermer " to let or to hire a farm-" 

It is likely, therefore, that the word fostadh or fasta, 
is a word borrowed by the Irish from some other lan- 
guage, and most probably introduced by the Northmen. 
That it is not an original Gaelic ro t is proved by its 
standing alone in the language, without derivatives. 
Eoth the word, and the custom of hiring servants or 
soldiers for a fixed period, may have been introduced 
together at the time of the Danish conquest. In the 
present document we have several examples of military 
terms, evidently borrowed, viz , consiabla, "constable," 
marusgal, "marshal," and paidh, ''pay:" just as in 
English we have borrowed from other languages most of 
our terms relating to warfare, such as infantry, cavalry, 
artillery, colonel, musket, bayonet, &c. 

The complete correspondence of the Ulster form, 
fasta, with the Scandinavian, is an example, in addition 
to many given in Dr. Donovan's Irish Grammar, of the 
ancient pronunciation of words being preserved in the 
North of Ireland, [Edit. U- J. A-] 

t/Juaiuiad/iu. The word buanachas is still met with in 
the traditions of the Scottish Highlands, for " free quar- 
ters for soldiers." [Enrr. U J. A- 


Mima diolaidh in t-iocaidhe in biadh leis in bhuanna fo cbionn na caoicdhisi sin, d' fbiachaibh ar 
in iocaidho in biadh d' iomchar gus in ait a m-biaidh in buanna a ffoslongphort. D' fhiacliaibh 
ar in chonstabla ccd beith ceathrar is ceithri xx. ar a g-cossaiph, 7 d' fholmhughadh se 
fir dec ; 7 is e ccal a d-tcidh in f holmhugbadh sin, cuid deichncamhair ag constabla in ched 
dc, 7 cuid cuigir ag marasgal in tire fein, 7 cuid fir ag galloglach tigbearna. D' fbiachaibh ar 
in tigbearna fo bhrigh a chonsiais 7 a thigbearnuis gach ni dc so do chomall do'n bhuanna, 7 
gach maith is mo bhus eidir leiss do dhenamh do'n bhuanna in a chailidhecht fein : 7 in ched 
oidhchi rachus in buanna ar a bhiadh, e do bbcith ag caithemh ar fein in oidhchi sin ; 7 madh 
e in t-iocaidhc bhus ciontach fa gan diolaidhecht do dhenamh leis in bhuanna 'sa ched 16 go 
n-oidchi, a bhiadh ar in iocaidhc in feadh chuinncochus se e ; 7 a chuid fein iomlan leis in 
bhuanna ag imthecht do, leth moigh do bhiadh in ched laoi go n-oidchi 6 ghephus in buanna a 

Gach ait a ttiocfaidh cassaoid air fa aidhighecht no fa aindeoin, galuin ime mar chain na h-oidchi 
siu ar gach cuiger da ttuillfe cassaoid do dhenamh orra do na buannadhaibh. 

1 s iad na fiacha ata ar m-buanna as so. Ar tuss, fo bhrigh a choinsiais 7 a anma a bheith dilcs, 
tairisi, gradhach, umhal, urramach, d'a thighearna, 7 a fhreagra gach uile uair iarrfus se e, 7 
dul leiss do 16 7 d' oidhchi in gach ait a n-iarrfaidh so e, acht nach g-cuirionn O'Xeill d'fhia- 
chaibh ar bhuanna baile d'innsaigh acht do reir a thoile fein ; 7 in buanna do bheith a ffos- 
longphort gach fad iarrfus a thighearna air e, leth amoigh do'n chaoicdhis tugudh do chom a 
bhidh do thogbhail ; 7 da n-iarraidh in tigbearna taispena da uair 'sa scchtmhain ar in m- 
buanna, sin do thabhairt do, 7 lcth-choroin mar chain agin tigbearna ar gach fernach ffuighthcr 
do lathair do na saighdiuribh gach en la dioph sin. D' fhiacliaibh ar in m-buanna gan geallar 
bith do ghlacadh a ffoslongphort no a ttir a thighearna, acht re marasgal do bheith aigc ; 7 da 
n-dearnadh, tuitim ar in agra ; 7 mar in g-ccdna gan geall do dhenamh ar in m-buanna acht 
re marasgal do bheith do lathair; 7 da g-cuiredh buanna a n-aghaidh marasgail a thighearna, 
a bhreith fein do chain ag in tigbearna air in m-buanna. Gach cuisimresna no aimhreidhtigb 
theigemhus eidir tigbearna in tire no in tie fein 7 buanna, breith in da mharasgal do bheith arm 
sin; d'fbiaehaibb ar in m-buanna gan urchoid do dhenamh d'en duine ar gach taopha de gan 
ebead specialty a. thighearna. 

(bah creaeh dbenus in tigbearna 7 in buanna, trian na g-creaeh do na. buannadhaibh 7 da d-trian ag 
an tigbearna. Gach each maith 7 gach luirech bheanfaidher aniaeh, do bheith ag an tigbearna. 
Gach braighe eii'echtach, assa ffuighthcr sithehain no comli-aiseag braghda, do bheith ag an tig- 
bearna: 7 in tigbearna do thabhairt lunch saothair iomebubliaidh don bhuanna do reir toile in 
tigbearna; 7 gach braighe ghebhus hi buanna as a jl'uighther fuaslughadh, trian in fhuas- 
laiethe ag an bhuanna, 7 da trian ag an tigbearna. 

lVfhiachaibh ar in m-buanna bardail laoi, 7 (aire leaptba oidhchi, 7 ccithernus aradna do thabhairt 
.d'a thighearna !'<> bhrigh eana. 


Ata O'Xeill ag a fhogra do Thadhg O'Ruairc 7 do gach buannadhaibh rachus 'sa Mumliain, aninham 
'sa staid-si lc maithibh Mumhain, fa phein gan en la do mhaith na d'fhbgar I Neill no I 
Domhnaill d'fhaghail go brath ; acbt gach uile bliuanna do racbaidh tar in ffoirm-si do bheith 
fuagartba b Ua Xeill 7 b Ua Domhnaill, ionnamhail 7 do bui Diarmeit O'Concbubhair go 
ffagbtbaoi a cbcnn re a bbuain do. 

A n-Dun-gcanain, 2, Februarii, 1601. O'Neill. 

Cotcmjporaneous Translation of the foregoing . 


In tbc name of God. c This is the order and manner of O'Xeylc his intcrteyning d of Bwonaghs. 
First, he allowith to the company of souldiers e entcrtayncment quarterlie 100 pounds ster., and XX 
pounds every halfe yeare by name of a rewarde, tcarmed in Irish wasly ; f and the same rewarde to 
be payed to the Bwonagh the first quarter ; and if it chance the Bwonagh [wish] not to remayne 
and serve out liis full quarter, then he is to make restitution of s the rewarde. But if the Lo. should 
refuse to contynuc the Bwonagh in his service during the full quarter, 1 ' then the Bwonagh to enjoy 
the rewarde without restitution. The entertcynment is thus payd : where money wantcth, there the 
niilche, or-in-calfo cowe to be rcccyvcd for payment acording the price it bears betwixt the tennants 
and husbands of the country. The armo r and clothes to run at such rates as the Marshall shall sett 
downc. The victuayles quarterly, to be xxiv. mcaders of butter of Linster gallon measure, ' and 
] skorc mcaders of mcale ; the country bound to pay the one halfe of the victuails in vic- 
tuals itself, and for the other halfe to deliver the Bwonagh certain allowance of pay in lieu of evcry 
meader that shall be wanting of halfe the victuayles ; the Bwonagh to rccejwe four shillings with 
the mcale, and for the other halfe, where no victuayles is to be had, the allowance of payment for 
the same to lie according as the ^Marshall and Bwonagh will consultingly agree upon. The Bwonagh 
to have a fortenight respite from the day of his entry to levie and collect his victuayles , that fortc- 
night to he acompted of the quarter ; and if lie should spend longer time in staiing abroade, theii 
for every day of his absence lie to he answerable in a fyne of halfe crowne p r . diem to his Lo. 

'Id thr.mmeofGod, \A n a nun Dia."] This form, which the lord." 

is still in use, should be iridium JJ<i, according to strict h The full quarter. This translation is incorrect, and 

erammar. shows that it was hurriedly done. It should be" and if 

lu'r-rh>in'm<! literallv: '' this is how O'Neill retains it be the lord that refuses the Bwanna with respect to 

or hires bon tghts." not retaining him the second quarter, the Bwanna is to 

v Th-eom/>in>; ol soldiers. [Bonched saiqhdiuir,] literally have [keep] the bounty." 

"to a hundred soldiers." The translator regarded one \Lcinster , Gallon, [do thomhus galuin na loinne.~\ fhe 

hundred soldiers as forming "a company.'' translation is here decidedly incorrect- If it meant 

i W'r.sly. [uaisU .] i.e. bounty, literally the gentility or " Leinster measure," it would be '' do thomhus galuin na 

nobility. Laighnach." Galun na loinne was evidently some lister 

V Vw.'.\:..._ [.Her illy, "should the Bwanna disap- technical term which Doyue, Crosby, or Fox, who were 

p >int the lord by not 1" uai'dng with him tiie second Leinster-rnen, did not understand. 
!-r. '.ith-i'aithe.l ti ! runtv is to he r< turned to 


If within that fortnight's space the tennante or husbandc on whom the victuayles are allotted do not 
pay the same to the Bwonagh, that then from hence forth that he be bound to bring the same at his 
own cost and charge unto him Avheresoever he lies in campe. The captain of a hundreth is to have by 
the poll for the hundreth four score and four, j and is allowed xvi. dead pays, whereof he himself is to 
have ten, the Marshall of the country five, and the Lord's gallowglas one. The Lord upon his c >n- 
science and honour not to withhold anything of his due from the Bwonagh, but acording his degree 
and cpialitic to do the best he can for his good. The first day the Bwonagh is onterteyned he is for that 
day and night to live at his own charges ; and if the tennant or husband, on whom the victuaills 
arc allotted, through their default keep the Bwonagh from receyving his victuaills the first day of 
service, then the Bwonagh during the tyrne he is so stayed to be at the tennant's own charges ; and 
upon his departure to receive the full allowance sett down for him at first, except the first day and 
night's victuaills. 

After the Bwonagh has receyved notice where he is to rcceyve his victuaills, and is by delayes 
dryven to complayne for not having it, a fyne of a gallon of butter by the night to be imposed uppon 
every five, that by reason of delaye gives the Bwonaght cause of complaint. 

The Bwonagh in consideration hereof, upon his conscience and soule, is to be faithfull, trustic, 
loving, humble, and obedient to his Lo., and to be answerable and at bis command at all times he 
doeih require him, and to go with him by day and by night into all places whereunto he will re- 
quire him O'jSTeil would not k that the Bwonagh should geve attempt or go to any towne without 
his Lord's direction, but lye still in camp so long as his Lord directs him so to do, except for the 
fortnight that be is to collect his victuaylls. If the Lo. would twice every week take view or 
muster of the Bwonagh, he is to give him the same; and for every souldier deficient, or that shall 
not be present at the muster, halfe a crownc in name of a fyne. The Bwonagh not to distrcyne 
in bis Lord's country or camp without the Marshall ; and if he should, his challenge to be void : 
and also no disiresse to be taken of the Bwonagh except the Marshall bo present to do it. If 
the Bwonagh should refuse or resist the Lord's Marshall, then he to be fined according to the 
Lord's discrecion ; and the Bwonagh to do no hurt or damage any where without speycial dire tion 
of his Lord. 

What proves shall be taken by the Lord and the Bwonaghs, the third parte thereof to the Bwo- 
nagh, the rest to the Lo. Every good horse or shirt of mayle that shall be taken, to be the Lord's. 
Even' prisoner by whom either peace may be had or other prisoner delivered in exchange, to be the 
Lord's; and the Lord to give the Bwonagh a competent reward in consideration thereof according 

> /'.-/ the hundreth fmr score and four Literally, " the k O'Xtill would not. This translation is not very faith 
constable of one hundred men is hound to have eighty- fill It should be ''Hut O'Neill docs not impose it as an 
four men on their /<;/., instead of the full hundred [in obligation upon any Bwonagh to attack any town but 
poll] and he is to have sixteen pays : and the manner in according to his own will : and the Bwonagh is to be in 
which this allowance goes is, ten to the constable of one the camp as long as his lord shall require it of him, ex- 
hundred himself, five to the marshal] of the countrv, cept the fortnight given him to raise his feed." 
and one to the Lord's Ualb.wglass." 


to his discreation. Every prisoner taken by the Bwonagh of whom ransom may be had, the third 
part of the ransom to the Bwonagh, the rest to the Lord ; to be given nppon payne of a fyne. 

[The Bwonagh 1 to be bound to ward by day and watch the bed by night ; and to afford the ser- 
vice of cethernus aradhna, (i.e., to attend to the horses, to clean, polish, and repair their bridles, 
trappings, &c.,) to his Lord on pain of fine.] 

[O'Neill is giving warning to Tcige O'llourkc and to all the Ewonaghs who will go into Munstcr, 
to remain in this state with the chiefs of Munster, under penalty of never having one day of the 
benefit of the favour of O'Neill or of O'Donnell for ever ; but every Bonagh who transgresses this 
order shall be proclaimed by O'Neill and O'Donnell in like manner as was Dermot 0' Conor, who 
had his head struck off.] 

At Dungannon, 2 February, 1601. O'Neill. 

No. II. 

1601. Dec. o. To the It'. Hon : Sir llobert Cecyll, K'., Principal Secretary to her Majestyc, 
and one of the wardes and liveries. 

Bt. Hon, I have somewhat longe put off to wryte to your Honor to see what wold ensue in 
these parts, after the passinge of the Irishe forces into Mounster, and how the Llstcrmcn wold be- 
have themselves in the absence of Tyrone, for it was likely, that otit of this two, would grow some 
matter of advertisement, seeing both had their severall expectations; and yet I finde nothing worthie 
the cause of a letter in their passage through Lcinster, save that O'Donnell, in his tract, and Tyrone 
following after, used all the means they cold to worke the Irishre royalists to their side, but have 
reduced none of reckoning, for anything yet discovered : oncly they both made havocke of some 
countreys, as a revenge to the loyalists that refused to rise with them. But for my parte, notwith- 
standiug their Irish formalities, I hold few of them absolutely sound, if a time come to fit them to de- 
clare themselves, for they all await inwardly for a stroke to be stroken by either, with or against 
us in Munster ; according to which they will carry their course. Touching Ulster, Tyrone having es- 
tablished his eldest son Hugh in the government of the country, with the name and style of O'Neile 
in his absence, amongst other lessons he left with him, charged him to attempt somethinge in his 
beginninge worthie of so great a name ; wherein the more to enable him, he left him some Spanish 
coync, to raise men and buy horses and arms, and all to distrcsse the English pale ; admonishinge 
him not to meddle with the garrison of Loughfoile, and the rest, for that, he said, it were but to 
lose his labour and time : other directions he recommended to him, but of lessc consequence, for that 
they consisted more in ceremony than in matter. As that good agreement should be between him and 

\TheBonngh Those two paragraphs are left untrans- named "nalotiff." Care w remarks: "Her Majesty's 

lateel by the interpreter. A detailed account of the honour was blemished, and the service hindered, by 

killing of this Dermot son of Dchhal-tach, son of Tuathal this malitious and hateful murther." According to the 

O'Conor, on the 24th Oct., KiOO, is given by the Four tradition in the country, Theobald Bourke was after - 

Masters, AD IG'00, p. 218o, and in Pacafri Ilibemia, Book wards murdered by Dermot O'Connor's idiot brother, at 

I,, c. 17 He was beheaded by Theobald Bourke, sur- the instigation of his sister. 


Corinock, [Tyrone's brother] to whom the arohtraytors vowed in the presence of sundry the followers, 
that before his return he would put in venture to win or lose all Ireland. That his aim in all his enter- 
prises should communicate chiefly with Patrick .Mac Art Movie M c Maghone, and be most governed by 
his advice. That he should cntcrtaine Cormocke, but in a remote degree of trust, and not to use 
him inwardly, a matter which Cormock stomachethe (as I am written unto) and will not come to 
his younge pretended Rebell prince, since Tyrone went. Lastly, he acquainted some of his followers 
how much he was troubled with a prophecy that he should lose his life in this action of Munster ; 
and yet, saith he, the feare of such a destiny shall not make me falsifie my promise given to so great 
a king as the king of Spaine. Many other particulars of this nature passed from him at lcavc- 
takinge which, though they carry no great consideration, yet they are not altogether to be silenced, 
for that they have their observations. Touching the proceedings of their Irish forces since their 
coming into Munster, and what accidents have happened either to or from them, we have nothing 
here of certainty, but depend on the L. Deputy's advertisement, from whom the State hath received 
no advice since the 16th of last month; at which time her Majesty's shippers were arrived before 
Kinsale ; but for the doings of the campe, I received only this letter enclosed yesternight, from an 
honest plain intelligencer [informer] whom I have long used in the discovery of the Spanish designs: 
he is now at the campe, and such matter as he hath written I send herewith to your Honor, the man 
being more simple and zealous than fine or judicious. God blessc the army, for that in the well or evil 
speedinge thereof resteth the good or bad state of this kingdom ; and yet, considering the royal 
means which her Majesty hath sent hither, I do not (according to human reason) sec how the disas- 
ter should fall on our side, especially if the action of Kinsale be dispatched before the coming 
of their seconds out of Spaine. And so for this time I most humblie take my leave. In great haste 
at Dublin. 4 December, 1601. Your Honor's ever most humbly at commandment, 

G. II. Fexton. 

Till . VI. 



( Concluded from Vol. 5, page 136. J 

The last portion of our memoir of the military adventures of the Bruccs in Ireland left the royal 
brothers in Carrickfergus, after their rapid and ineffectual inroad through the centre of the island ; 
and found their opponent, Eoger Mortimer, the celebrated Earl of March, at the head of a strong 
English and native force, stationed in Dublin. The King of Scots had been foiled in his rush upon 
the Irish capital, by the sudden capture of his father-in-law, the Earl of Ulster, by the resolute 
citizens : but he and his gallant brother were too completely masters of the North for Mortimer to 
venture on attacking them there. Still, there was nothing that could then be achieved worthy of 
the Lion of Scotland, who presently retired, like a baffled king of beasts of prey, back to his own 
half-desert kingdom. The flower of the Englishry of Ulster were either slain, or had fled, or were 
prisoners, or perishing of hunger. Some few that remained rallied under the leading of their here- 
ditary seneschal, Lord Savage ; but were utterly routed near the "city of the bridge," (Coleraine,) 
and many more were chased out of the province.* Rapine and ravage on all sides, and the conse- 
cpient suspension of agriculture during more than two years, now aggravated the terrors of war 
into their climax of absolute famine- Numbers living in slavery under Bruce starved to death, 
after having been reduced to the horrible extremity of devouring human corpses. b The summer 
season of 1318 was remarkable for an extraordinary dearth which was felt throughout the British 
islands, lasting from April until autumn, and causing innumerable deaths. In the English Pale, 
wheat sold at the enormous rate of 23s. a cronoc, containing four gallons.' 1 Friar Clyn, the Kil- 
kenny chronicler, who may himself have seen the smoke of Robert Bruce' s conflagrations wafted 
over the city of St. Canice, dwells upon the extremity of famine which in that year swept off 

Peace being somewhat restored in the Pale, it was high time for vengeance on some of the treason- 
able Anglo-Irish. Viceroy Mortimer, indignant at the conduct of his rebellious vassals, the Lacys, 
summoned them before him ; and, on their refusal to obey, sent troops into their country, which 
was laid waste, many of their men were slain, and all their "nation and cognomen" driven into 
Connaught, excepting Sir Walter Lacy, who is said to have fled to Carrickfergus to seek aid from 

.t Clyn. Clyn, and the Annals of Ross. 

i, Campion. A Dowlins, 


Bruce. John Lacy was taken, and pressed to death in a dungeon in the citadel of Trim, by sentence 
of Mortimer. The traitorous assistance given by this family to the invaders was long unsuspected, 
having been concealed under specious acts of loyal service ; for lords Hugh and Walter Lacy were 
included in the king's letter, dated 28th April, 1317, of thanks to many of the Anglo-Irish nobility 
for their services against the Scots : but, on the 20th July, the treason of the Lacys having been dis- 
covered, they were proclaimed " seductores et felones Domini llegis, quia vcxillum tulerunt contra pa- 
cem Domini Regis Angliae :" their persons were proscribed, and their estates forfeited. A contemporary 
chronicler states that they fled into Scotland ; and it appears that four of this family, Hugh, Walter, 
Robert, and Amory, were in the ranks of Edward Brace's army at the final battle, near Dundalk. 

Taking in hand again Archdeacon Barbour's metrical history of Robert I., King of Scotland, let 
us read the close of his episodiac narrative of the Braces' military enterprise in Ireland. Even in 
the rude archaic verses of the old poet the story reads like a romance. That the Scottish nation, 
although exhausted by a long and sanguinary contest with England, sent out considerable bands of 
their bravest defenders to attempt to wrest a great country from subjection to the English, an in- 
vasion which was almost certain to renew hostilities against their own country, is one of the many 
historic proofs of the adventurous intrepidity of their national character. Our archajologic readers 
cannot but have been pleased with the few passages we have extracted from the archdeacon's 
curious poem. This almost first fruit of Scottish poetic genius contains, indeed, many a germ of 
genuine poetry ; and although the archdeacon, venerable in rank, was almost so in years at the 
time he wrote, he describes battle-fields and various stirring incidents with much spirit ; and, 
besides giving numerous traits of manners, is by no means deficient in humour, nor in that which, 
truly, is more to be admired, heroic sentiment, and pathetic and devotional feeling. 

Our poetic narrator, notwithstanding his previous reflections on the unstable allegiance of the 
" Irsche kings" to "Schyr Edward, that thair king callit thai," declares that " he was now weill 
set in gud way to conquer the land halyly ; for he had upon his party the Irschery and Ullyster,' 
(meaning the revolted Englishry of the province,) and that he would have gained a kingdom had 
he been able to govern himself ; but that he could not restrain his "outrageous surquedry," fsur- 
cuidanee, or presumption.) Seeing that " Schyr Edward had all the Irschery at bidding," the 
monarch (if Scotland, whose presence was required in his own realm, " buskit harne," leaving, 
however, the greater number of his hardiest and most chivalrous men to support his brother: 
his reason for leaving him to carry on the enterprise being apparently that, while the spirit of the 
younger brother was hopeful, prudence governed that of the heroic and successful king of Scots ; 
who, being convinced, (as it has been judiciously remarked by the national historian of Ireland,) 
of the hopelessness of attempting to build up a durable monarchy out of materials so incongruous 
as the state of this country then afforded, was yet willing that his more sanguine brother should 
continue to prosecute a war which served to divert the forces of England and Ireland from again 
attempting to subvert bis own newly raised throne. 


The " King of Irland" remained inactive for some half a year, not venturing forth from the 
North ; until at last, " he that rest annoyit ay, and wuld in travail be alway" " took hvs way,'' 
despite good counsellors, " southwart too far." Yet in point of fact the invaders were compelled 
by the severity of the famine to make a descent into unwasted lands an actuating motive beneath 
the dignity of history, but not unnoticed in the metrical romance. The force which the bold leader 
could rely on was inconsiderable : 

" For lie had not tlien in that land 
Of all men I trow, two thousand, 
Owtane" (except) "the kings of Irschery, 
That in gret rents raid him by, 
Towart Dundalk he tuk the way." 

Our poet's estimate of the muster that opposed this irruption may be contrasted with that of 

native annalists, and then pardoned as a superlative exaggeration, introduced for the purpose of 

making the scene close with befitting grandeur on the second hero of his poem. When the viceroy, 

he says, heard that the Scots again threatened the Tale, he assembled " of all Irland of armit men" 

to the number " of trappit horse 20,000," and an equal amount of pedestrian militants; and, with 

this splendid army, " held forth northward on his way." Even this formidable array did not daunt 

lulward Bruce, who audaciously exclaimed he would give battle were the foe six-fold more numerous ! 

In vain did Lords Stewart and Mowbray entreat him to wait until an expected reinforcement came 

up. The ''full tendre counsaill" of the Irish kings was equally disregarded. These chiefs briefly 

reminded him of the accustomed tactics of the Gael, whose flight, as of light horse, arel ers, and 

javelin-men, was move formidable (as has also been said of the Parthians) than their attack ; besides 

otton drawing their pursuers into dangerous defiles : 

" Oar manor of this land 
Is to folow and fycht, and fycht fleand : 
And not to stand in plane niello 
Quhill tketa part discomfyt be-" 

Their imperious "king" replied by telling them to draw their men aside and look on! Their 

remonstrances and assistance being thus despised, it is not surprising if these chieftains withdrew, 

and actually did stand aloof, as Barbour declares they did, with their forces, which amounted to 

" 20 000 men." Magnifying all numbers, except those of his own brave countrymen, the bard 

-proceeds to tell how Bruce set his men, " that war not fully twa thousand," in order of battle 

,; stalwartlv to stand against 40,000 and ma." The numbers that fought and fell in the action are 

variously stated. The Scottish force is estimated at 3,000 men in the ancient MS. Boole of Jloicth, 

a compilation in which their numbers would not be underrated. The amount of the opposing 

array is not mentioned: but Marlebrugh gives it as only 1324; the force being in truth little 

more than a hasty muster of the armed men of the invaded northern Pale. Several curious and 

unpublished legendary particulars of the long-remembered battle that ensued are related in the 

above-mentioned old ?\1S., and as they are credible enough, may be here given.* 

i" om a transcript in MS Add- Brit. Mus. 4789. 


" At St. Calestis is day, being on Saterday, their a batell was appointed betweene the Scotts 
and the Englishmen of Ireland, which Englishmen encamped themselves within two miles of the 
town of Dundalk. Unto the which battaille came owt of Scotland, Edward Bruce, and said that 
he was Xing of Ireland ; and in his company lord Philip Mowbray, lord Walter de Sulis, lord 
Alan Stey ward, with his three brothers ; lord Walter de Lacy, lord Hugh de Lacy, lords Robert and 
Amorey de Lacy, John Gerondine, Walter White, and to the number of 3,000. At this tyme the 
counsaille of the realme were of sevcrall opinions who should have the cheftainess of the English ; 
diverse misfortunes of battaille was reputed to diverse of the nobilitie, and a long time this was de- 
bated; and at length, Alexander Bignor, lord justice, said as followeth : 'By reison of this infir- 
mitie that of late hath taken me, my ability serveth not in this worthie enterprize to take in hand ; 
thcirfor yon shall understand what I think best, and what he is that I would wishe to take uppon 
him this worthie and serviceable service, whereuppon the honnor of our Prince, and the duritie 
of this realme resteth uppon. Here is among others, lord John Bremingham, a man of great corage, 
stallworthines, practised and apte in warrs, wise, of a good condition, sober and circumspect, and 
will doo that may be done, and that cannot be, he Avill not ; therefore I thinke him mecte to be 
cheftaine of this battaile ; and tho my predecessors did not well like of him, by reason of cvill dis- 
honest counsaillors, more of malice then zeale of justice did informe and impute under my pre- 
decessor much inconvenience that of him did insuc, or it were by reason that my predecessor could 
not so easily tome by ccrtaine of his desyred purposes, in case the foresaid lord John Bremingham 
had the place or maisterie of his auncestors, by reson whereof the said lord John Bremingham was 
put by till now in my tyme. I thought him as meete to be of this counsale as anic of his auncestors 
hath beenc, and, as the report is, no man worthier in the realme without comparison, tho yt be 
odins to those that doetli malinge this same as they did before this tyme past. And another great 
cause moveth me to have the better liking in the said John Bremingham, that all the tyme of this 
malitius purpose and doinge, lie was contented as well to be absent as to be in presse among the 
hiest. Then he perswaded the magistrates throwe his countenance, and alwaies he answered this 
his friend with fault found thereat; which in this manner, that he was most beholding and bound 
to such a lord that purchast to him so much rest and quietnes, and to make suit for my aunccstor's 
[dace and roome I meanc it not, for that belongs to other men's estate that alwaies is desirous to 
clame lor strangnes where they nor titer's never was. And for me, when that tyme do serve that I 
shall lie in my present state, I shall not think yt strange that was to me of right, considering the 
premises, and much more which I think it tins tyme tedious to trouble your lordships withall : 
then lore 1 do condiscend and thinke yt good that he he head and governor of this worthie purpose.' 
Wherennto ;ill that there- was did agree and consent thereunto. 

" The Scots preparing to the battaile afore premised, and the daie appointed, the English host 
came to south Dundalk and camped. 

"'J h< daie before the battaile, lord John Bremingham, the chieftain of the English battaile. was 

desirous to see Bruce, the Scots captaine, and apparailed himself in a frier's weed, and came to 
Bruce, being on his knees at Masse, and his booke of devocion before him, and asked his almes. 
Bruce, being occupied with his book, did not make answere, nor did not hold upp his head ; the 
other being desirous of his desired purpose, never gave over of craving ; Bruce looked upp and said 
to those that stood by : ' Serve this sawsc and importunat frier with somewhat, he doeth dis- 
turbe me in my servis.' 'And ever so dooth I mcane, unlesse I have my desired purpose:' 
and so departed. After Masse was done, said Bruce, ' I pray you, sirs, where is this bold frier 
that hath thus disturbed me, for I swere to you since I saw his face my hart was not in quiet.' 
This flier was sought for, and could not be found. ' Xo ?' said Bruce, 'cannot he be had? my 
hart tellcth me that this frier is Birmingham. Well !' said Bruce, ' we shall mcete ere ; whereas 
he shall receive a bitter rewardc ; but it was evell done to suffer him to depart, for then wee easily 
should winnc that which great travail is doubtfull to get.' 

"When the battaillc was set and rcdie on both sides to have fought, lord John Bremingham said 
these words : ' My followers and frendes, you shall understand this ; in this hope of battaile it is 
necessaric to be remembered, forst the cause of the battaile, which on our side is right for us to de- 
fend our eountreye, for so sayth the Bibill we may ; the second is wee are fresh andlustie souldiers, 
not weried in the warre withe travaile and pesterus spoils, covetinge nothing but to mayenten that 
that is our land, goods, and fronds, not desirous of no man's else ; wee are to serve a worthie prince 
our king and maister, which if wee do well not this former talke only to keep and win, but wee 
shall receive such reward that all our frends shall rejoice the rest. jSowc, valliant stomachs ! set 
forward in the name of God and our King !' 

"All the while that the battaile was a fighting lord Bremingham was riding from one company 
to another comforting them, and helping those that were in necessitie, with a chosen company of 
men that was about him in that fight. Wonc lord Alanus Steward did the like as John Breming- 
ham did, which Bremingham saw, and mctt both together and fought terrably ; and at length he 
slewc the Scots lord, and then the Scots fled. Against whom Englishmen came, the said lord Bre- 
mingham, that was chosen captain in the field, lord Richard Tute, lord Myles Verdon, Hue Trc- 
pentoun, lord Herbert do Sutton, lord John Cusakc, lords Edmond and William Bremingham, and 
the prymat of Ardmagh, which did absolve them all, lord Walter de la rail, and to the number of 
xx armed and chosen out of Drogheda, with whom came John Mapas, manfullie did kill the said 
Bruce verie honorable, whose bodie was found deade lioing upon the bodic of Bruce. The Scots 
were slain to the nomber of 1230, and very fewe of them did escape. This battaile was fought 
betweene Dondalk and Faghard, and the said lord Bremingham tookc Edward Bruce is head unto 
y* King of England, for the which lie was promised the erldomc of Louth, and had the baronie of 
Atri-Dei given to him and to his heirs. And the said Edward, his armes, quarters, and hart was 
sent to Dublin, and other men's quarters sent to other places." 

In the persuasion that the fall of King Edward Bruce would decide the fate of the day, and tor- 


minate his ambitious invasion, the Anglo-Irish leader, Sir John Bermingham, determined, as we 
have seen, to single him out in the forthcoming melee, in the hope of ending a long and destructive 
war by the might of his own arm ; and, as the person of Bruce was unknown to him, on coming 
up to the Scottish forces, he instantly risked his life to see their leader, so as to be able to recognise 
him in the field either by his features or by his armour. Disguising himself as a friar, the resolute 
champion passed into the enemy's camp, and, finding Bruce on his knees, bending devoutly over 
his mass-book, by repeatedly craving alms made him look up. Bruce ordered his attendants to re- 
lieve the importunate monk. But the bent and stern regard of the visitorliad " disquieted the 
heart" of Bruce ; and, as soon as Mass was over, he caused search to be made for him, but in vain. 
This romantic anecdote is somewhat borne out by a passage in the poetic narrative, showing that 
Bruce Avas aware he was marked out for death in the coming fray ; for 

" Schyr Eduuard that day wold not ta 
Hys cot armour : bot Gib Harper 
* * * * had on that day 
All hale Schyr Eduuard's aray." 

To ensure his safety further, Lord Alan Stewart acted as general of the field. After a hard con- 
test, the Anglo-Irish Knight, apparently believing that this prominent commander was the veritable 
" Richard," pressed forward to encounter him, and, in a combat in which both " fought tcrrably," 
at length slew the Scottish lord, on whose fall his countrymen turned and fled. According to the 
Howth chronicle, their loss, few escaping, was 1,230 men. Walsingham's statement is 26 knights 
bannerets, and 5,800 men ; a number increased by Marlburgh to 8,274. There is no account of 
the loss on the side of the victors. So few of the Anglo-Irish chivalry were present, that the day 
was declared to have been gained, as at Crecy and Poitiers, by the gallantry of the yeomanry alone, 
or, in the words of an ancient record, "by the hands of the common people," to which is reverentially 
subjoined " et dextram Dei/" This decisive action was fought on Sunday morning, the 14th Oc- 
tober, 1318. According to Barbour, the Anglo-Irish forces made a rapid-charge upon the Scots, 
of whom the most valiant, the flower of the little band, that stood firm, were quickly hewn down, 
" and the remnand fled till the Irische to succour." Of slain, he only mentions Bruce, Stewart, 
and Soulis. Pembridge mentions that Hugh and Walter Lacy were slain : but it is certain that 
they escaped, and that the former was afterwards pardoned." The ancient annals of Boss state that 
the battle was won by John Bermingham, " et alios illius patriae." Davy's says, in his Discoverie, 
that "Bermingham, Verdon, Turpilton, and some other private gentlemen, rose out with the com- 
mons of Meth and Uricll; and at Fagher, a fatall place to the enemies of the crowne of England/ 
overthrew a potent army" of invaders. "Et sic," (lie continues, quoting from the Bed Book of the 

Grace Earl of Tyrone, had been overthrown in a decisive battle 

1 The " Faughard" is an artificial mound, raised to the at this place, which, being on the frontier of Ulster, and 

height of sixty feet. Wright's Luuthinm. Sir John at the gorge of the difficult passage iuto the North, was 

DavrR allndfs to the circumstance that Hugh O'Neill, tie scene of frequent engagements. 

Exchequer,) "permanus communis populi, et dextram Dei, deliberatur populus Dei a. servitute 
machinata et praecogitata." 

The fall of Edward Bruce in this battle, on which so much depended, is historically ascribed to 
the devoted bravery of " Sir John Mapas," who, however, was only an humble but valiant yeo- 
man, and of whom there is a legend that he had entered the Scottish camp in the guise of a juggler, 
probably from the same motive that influenced Sir John Bermingham. Bruce was evidently 
aware of an intention to single him out in fight, and had therefore used the precaution of not 
wearing his own armour; the " whole array" of which, as we have seen, as stated by the poet, was 
donned by his trusty henchman, Gilbert Harper. Our authority goes on to say : 

After the battle was o'er, 

They" (the victors) " soucht Schyr Edunard, to get hys heid, 
Amang the folk that thar was deid, 
And land Gib Harper in hys ger," (gear) 
" Thai strak hys heid off, and syne it 
Thai haff gert salt into a kist ; 
And sent it intill Ingland, 
Till the King Eduuard in presand. 
Johne Maupas till the King had it ; 
And he resavit it in daynte : 
Rycht blyth otf that present was he " 

But this assertion, that the Englishry took tlie henchman's head for his master's, is, doubtless, false. 
Both Mapas and Bermingham seem to have entered the enemy's camp for the purpose of seeing the 
man whose fall would end the war, in order to be able to identify him in battle ; and, besides these 
precautions, the features of a man so eminent and remarkable must have been well known. 
It is noticeable that the poet speaks of John Maupas as having carried off the slain man's head 
in triumph; because it proves there was a Scottish tradition that this individual was the actual 
slayer, agreeing with all Irish legends. Our own historian, Moore, thus describes the Curtius- 
Hke deed : 

" Under the persuasion that the death of Bruce himself would give victory at once to the English, John Maupas, 
a brave Anglo-Irish knight, rushed devotedly into the enemy's ranks, to accomplish that object ; and when, after 
the battle, the body of Bruce was discovered, that of John Maupas was found lying stretched across it." 

An Anglo- Gaelic chronicler, Thady Dowling, mars the romance of the event by his account; 
be calls the chivalrous hero " Mappas," and says lie was a butcher, who was one of the party that 
marched up from Dublin; adding " Mappas, a jugler, knocked him" (Bruce) " with two bullets in 
a bagg, and killed him," for which service Edward II. conferred four pales of land on him and 
his heirs. AYe disbelieve the vulgar legend that Mapas was either a butcher or a juggler. A similar 
story makes Hussey, baron of Galtrim, who distinguished himself at Athenry, a butcher also. Ac- 
cording to the Booh of llowth, a superior authority, " John Mapas" was one of the Drogheda con- 
tingent. There can be little doubt that the ancient Anglo-Irish family of " Mape," of ''Mape- 

rath," in the phire of Meath, was descended from this distinguished slayer of Edward Bruce. The 
heiress of John Mapas, Esq., of Rochestcwn, county Dublin, was married to the late Richard 
"Wogan Talbot, Esq., of Malahidc. 

Some threads of antiquarian information respecting this important battle may now be spun together. 
Edward Bruce, who was as rash as he was brave, is declared to have given battle against all ad- 
vice, whether of native allies, or of his best officers. " He was slayne by his own wilfulness, that 
wold not tary for his ful company, that were almost at hand." 6 The annals of Clonmacnois, com- 
piled by Gaelic writers, give, remarkably enough, the real feelings of the Irish people with re- 
spect to this event : 

" Edward Bruise, a destroyer of all Ireland in gencrall, both English and Irish, was killed by the 
English in battle, by their valour at Dundalk, the 14th of October, 1318, together with MacRowrie, 
king of the Islands, and MacDonncl, prince of the Irish" (Gaels) "of Scotland, with many other 
Scottifhmen. Edward Bruise seeing the enemies encamped before his face, and fearing his brother, 
Robert Bruise, king of Scotland, (that came to this kingdom for his assistance,) would acquire and 
gett the gloric of that victorio, which he made himself believe he would gett, of the Anglo-Irish, 
which he was sure he was able to overthrow, without the assistance of his said br >ther, he rashly 
gave them the assault, and was therein slain himself, as is declared, to the great joye and comfort 
of the whole kingdome in gencrall, for there was not a better deed that redounded more to the good 
of the kingdom since the creation of the world, and since the banishment of the Fine Fomores out 
of this land, done in Ireland, than the killing of Edward Bruise ; for there reigned scarcity of vic- 
tuals, breach of promises, ill performances of covenants, and the loss of men and women thro'out 
the whole kingdom for the space of three years and a-half that he bore sway, insomuch that men 
did commonly cat one another for want of sustenance during his time." 

Manifestly, the Gael of Ireland had been by no means generally ready to succumb to and serve 
the sceptre-sword of the Scottish adventurer. Friar Clyn, indeed, who lived contemporaneously, 
writes, that during the whole time the Scots were in Ireland, they were adhered to by almost all 
the Irish of the land, adding " paucis valde fulem et fidelitatem scrvantibus." The main object of 
the royal brothers, in their circuitous march through the island, must have been to invite the co- 
operation of the native chieftains ; and, perhaps, the military circuit made by " the King of Irland" 
was in imitation of the ancient practice, customary with Milesian monarchs, of making a " progress" 
through their dominions to receive the homage of provincials. Archdeacon Barbour, however, de- 
clares that of all the Irish kings that did homage to their new sovereign, he did not get but " anc or 
twa bargayns" among them. 

The ensuing fragment, entitled " Robert Bruce' s advice to the Irish," is entered in the MS. 
volume of collections made by the chronicler Hanmer ; but seems rather to be a prose version of the 

- r l,'i,l r c's Collections TT, 517, 

TOT,. VI. j 


rhythmical military counsel bequeathed by the King of Scots to his subjects, called " Good King 
Eobert's Testament." The system of strategy recommended is so sound and characteristic that we 
append a transcript of the document : 

" Robert Bruce advised them never to appoint any set battle with the English, nor to jeopard 
the realme upon the chance of one field ; but rather resist and kepe them off from the en- 
dangering of their country, by often skirmishing and cutting them off, at straights and places of ad- 
vantage, to the intent that if the Scotts were discumfeytcd they might yet have some power reserved 
to make new resistance. Again, he forbad them in any wise to make peace, unless for their own 
turn ; for naturally men were dull and slothfull by long rest ; so that after long peace, through 
lack of use of arms, men are not able to sustain any great paynes or travail ; and therefore he would 
have the peace but for three or four years at the most." h 

After the defeat of Dundalk, the residue of the Scots fled back to the Xorth, and were actually 
met by the troops which the King of Scotland had sent over to reinforce his brother. The whole 
party were frequently assailed, in their flight to Carriekfergus, by bodies of the " Irschery" that had 
hitherto been either neuter or hostile ; yet the Scots, by keeping together, fighting some opponents, 
and fending off others by gifts of arms and armour, at length reached the sea-port, and sailed away. 
Edmond Spenser says that Lord Bermingham followed up his victory so hotly that the Scots hardly 
took breath, or could gather together, until they reached the sea-coast ; and declares that in all the 
way of their return, they, " for very rancour and despight," utterly consumed and wasted what- 
ever they had before left undestroyed ; so that in all towns, castles, forts, bridges, and habitations, 
the)' left not a stick standing, nor any inhabitants, for the few which survived fled from their f iry 
into the Tale. " Thus was all that goodly country wasted," says Spenser; and he then breaks 
into his beautiful apostrophe in praise of the beauty, richness, and advantages that nature had 
lavished on Ulster. 

Let us now consider the effects of this famous invasion in the fourteenth century. One of the 
first was to elevate the power of those native dynasties of the O'Xeills, to reduce which, in Eliza- 
beth's reign, required all the available force in Ireland, backed by frequent armaments from Eng- 
land. Immediately after the battle near Dundalk, the clan of " Yellow-Hugh" joined the English 
in expelling O'^Scill-more, (the patriotic and brave chieftain, Donnell) from his territory. He, how- 
ever, soon reassumed his petty kingship, and transmitted the principality to a long line of succeed- 
ing chieftains, who grew every generation more capable of defending their country against the 
Saxon. Certainly, the O'Xeills of Tyrone presented, in that determined defence during three cen- 
turies, no ignoble spectacle. And, when the religious sympathies of the Continent were aroused and 
exerted in their favour, the contest for Lister assumed European importance. Some idea of the 
deadly nature of this great feud, and of the mortal antipathy that raged in the breasts of Irishmen 

h State Paper Office, vol. I , p. 754- 


towards the English, may be obt lined from the indignant letter addressed by Donnell O'Xeill and 
his brother chieftains to the Roman Pontiff The historian Thierry gives it entire ; let us read the 
concluding passage, the ultimatum of the Irish Gael in their passionate address. Having expatiated 
upon the heavy wrongs they had sustained from the invaders, they declure their inveterate hatred, deep resolution of revenge : 

" These grievances, added to the difference of language and of manners which exists between 
them and us. destroy every hope of our ever enjoying peace or truce in this world ; so great on their 
side is the desire to rule, so great on ours the legitimate and natural desire to throw off an insup- 
portable servitude, and to recover the inheritance of our ancestors. * * Without regret or re- 
morse, so long as we shall live, we shall fight in defence of our rights ; ceasing only to combat and 
injure them when they themselves, through want of poAver, shall cease to do us evil, or when the 
Supreme Judge shall take vengeance on their crimes, which we firmly hope will happen sooner or 
later. Until then, we will, for the recovery of that independence which is our natural right, make 
war upon them to the death, constrained as we arc thereto by necessity, and preferring to confront 
the peril as brave men rather than to languish amidst insult and outrage." 

Commenting on this remarkable document, Thierry finds its spirit guiding the subsequent 
struggles of the Irish, and concludes his remarks in these words : " This indominable pertinacity, 
this faculty of preserving through centuries of misery the remembrance of their lost liberty, and 
of never despairing of a cause always defeated, always fatal to those who have dared to defend it, 
is perhaps the strongest and the noblest example ever given by any nation." 

The desolation of Eastern Ulster, consequent on three years' ravage and famine, permitted the 
Gaelic clans to reconquer the country ; and, by changing the remnant of the Teutonic families, de- 
scended from the first conqueror-colonists, into subordinate septs, effected a revolution from English 
to Irish rule, which lasted for three centuries. After the fall of the great feudal Earl of Ulster, his 
barons assumed an almost complete independence. Remote from the seat of government and from 
England, and supported by the Hebridean Scots, the revolted lords assumed the port and habits of tho 
Irish chieftains, and set the Crown at defiance. Similar results were produced, throughout the 
entire kingdom, by this shattering invasion. Those magnate peers who had recently led their 
ravaging legions into Scotland, were almost ruined ; and, the native chiefs having been inspired to 
assert independence, not only were multitudes of the Gael detached from Tinder the banners of the 
Anglo-Irish lords, but became such formidable enemies that those flags never floated again over 
Scottish soil. On the. whole, this raid into Ireland by the Bruccs has certainly the appearance of a 
daring exploit of romance, rather than of an act of sound policy; but, if we may believe that its 
effects were foreseen by the monarch who dircctcd_and led it, they amply prove his sagacity. 

Herbert E. Hore. 

It may be interesting to many of our readers to know 
that several branches of a family, lineally descended from 
that of King Hubert Bruce, still exist iu the North of Ire- 

Kin^ Robert Bruce was succeeded by his son David, who 
left no family. On his death, Sir Robert de Bruce, knight, 
succeeded as heir-male of the Bruces. His son Edward 
was the ancestor of the Rev. Robert Bruce, who crowned 
the Queen of James VI. of Scotland. Some curious letters 
to him from King James and Chancellor Maitland are 
printed in the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, 
communicated by the late Rev. W. Bruce, D.D., from ori- 
ginals in his possession, and accompanied with a memoir 
on King James. His son, the Rev. Michael Bruce, was 
the next of the family that was connected with Ireland. 
He was settled in Kiflinchy, county of Down, in 1651, 
from which he was ejected in the reign of Charles II. and 
afterwards imprisoned in Scotland for preaching without 
license, and for this offence was banished to Tangiers. In 
process of carrying this sentence into execution lie was 
transmitted to the Gatehouse, at Westminster. While 
here he had a petition presented to the King, by his wife, 
in IC68; and, at the intercession of one of Charles's mis- 
tresses, who was attracted to the prison by the fame of his 
preaching, he was allowed to choose the place of his exile, 
when he named the " wild woods of Killiuchy," his former 
parish. A copy of his petition is given in the original, in 
the papers refered to. His son James was minister of 
Killileagh, county Down, and his son Michael was min- 
ister of Holy wood, in the same county. He was one of 
the founders of the Antrim Presbytery, and there have 
been seven Presbyterian ministers in lineal succession, 
from the Rev. Robert Bruce, in King James's time, to the 
present day. The Rev. Patrick Bruce, younger brother of 
Michael, of Holywood, was grandfather to Sir Henry 
Harvey Aston Bruce, of Downhill, county Derry. There 
was another brother, William, who had a principal hand 
in establishing the fund for the widows of Presbyterian 
ministers ; was an intimate friend of Aberncthy, Duchat, 

Mr. Stewart, the ancestor of the Londonderry family, and 
others ; and was held iu high estimation for his public 
spirit and moral worth of whom an interesting notice 
was written by the late Dr. Hincks, and printed, but not 
published. The Rev. William Bruce of Belfast is the pre- 
sent representative of the family. 

We subjoin the 

Genealogy of Kino Robert Bruce. 1. He was son 
of Robert de Bruce, Lord of Annandale, and Earl of Car- 
rick, by right of his wife, Margaret, daughter of Earl of 
Carrick ; 2. son of Robert de Brus, Lord of Annandale, 
and competitor for the Crown of Scotland, and Isabel, his 
wife, daughter of Earl of Gloucester ; 3. son of Robert de 
Bins, Lord of Annandale, and Isabel, dr. of David Earl of 
Huntingdon, and niece of William King of Scotland ; 4. 
son of William de Brus, who sat iu the parliament of King 
John ; 5. son of Robert de Bruce, and Isabel, daughter of 
William the Lion, King of Scotland ; 6. son of Robert de 
Bruce, Lord of Annandale, by right of his wife Agnes, 
daughter and heiress of De Annan, Lord of Annandale ; 
7. son of Robert de Bruce, Lord of Skelton, and Agnes, 
daughter of Folk Pagnell, a great baron ; 8. son of Robert 
de LJrusce, or Brus, of Skelton castle, in Cleveland, a noble 
Norman knight, and Agues daughter of Waltheg, Earl of 
St. Clair ; 9. son of Robert de Bruse, who built the castle 
of La Brusce, in Normandy, and Emma, daughter of Earl of 
Bretagne ; 10. son of Regeuwald and Arlogia, daughter 
of Waldamar duke of Russia ; 11. son of Brusce, Earl of 
Caithness, and Ostrida; 12. son of Sygurt, Earl of the 
Orkneys, and Alice daughter of Malcolm II., King of Scot- 
land ; 13. son of Lother, Earl of the Orkneys, and Alfrica 
daughter of the Prince of Argyle and Lord of the Isles; 
14. son of Torfin, Earl of the Orkneys, and Shetland Isles, 
and Gailcota, daughter of the Earl of Caithness ; 15. son 
of Eynor, Earl of the Orkneys ; 16. son of llegenwald, a 
Danish Earl ; 17. son of Euslin ; 18. son of Thebotaw, Duke 
of Sleswick and Stosmasch, who was living in A.D. 721. 



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'Twere long to tell the great and good of these and other'days, 
Montgomeries, and Hamilton*, and Hills, and Castlereaghs; 
Here sleeps the great apostle of the island of the west, 
Here ruled the " proud de Courcy," here Percy sunk to rest; 
And hundreds more, by lofty deads, have nobly won renown, 
Yet the soil is not exhausted of my own county Down. 

i . iviRoauciiox. 

The two counties of Down and Antrim are intimately related, in other respect*, as well as in their 
geographical contiguity. They are nearly of the same size ; their population consists of the same 
three great elements ; in both is supported in the same way ; and they are, as nearly as possible, 
of the same relative importance. Their points of coincidence, therefore, as well as their points of 
dissimilarity, present interesting subjects for reflection. 

Speaking in round numbers, Antrim is to Down, in extent, as seven to six ; but its hilly and com- 
paratively barren portions occupy a wider area. Hence the population of Down is scarcely one- 
twelfth less than that of Antrim, and its families and inhabited houses are in the same proportion. 
Bat, if we compare the rolls of count)' voters, that of Down rises in numbers so as to exceed that of 
Antrim by more than Ave percent. We at once conclude, therefore, that there is a greater number 
of large farms in Antrim ; and a very slight degree of observation is necessary to show that this is 
the fact. 

The list of voters for Down, which I have analysed, is that which was used at the contested 
election of 1852. It extends from the loth of March, 1851, to the 1st of December, 1852; and, there- 
fore, includes the very day on which the census of the whole county was taken. It thus admits 
of the most satisfactory comparison with the population tables. There were, in 1851, 10,028 
voters in the list, 63,025 inhabited houses, and 328,751 individuals. Adopting the nearest wholo 
numbers, we find the proportions to be the same as in the case of Antrim viz., that each name in 
the list iv]. resents nix Jam Hies, and thirty-six individuals. 

1 here are fourteen baronies, or rather baronial subdivisions, in Antrim; and we find precisely 
the same number in Down. In the latter county, Upper Iveagh and Lower lvcagh are each perma- 
nently subdivided into an upper and a lower division ; and Locale and Aids are also permanently 


subdivided into upper and lower portions. Thus there arc, practically, the fourteen baronies. In the 
present instance, however, that division has not been preserved. All the voters in Ards, Lecale 
Upper Iveagh, and Lower Iveagh, respectively, have been formed into one alphabetical list ; so that 
the accompanying map is divided into ten baronies only, instead of fourteen. 

These, again, are far more widely different in area than those of Antrim. Upper Iveagh alone, 
for example, includes more than a fourth of the whole county ; while Dufferin is less than one- 
ninth of that size, and Xewry scarcely one-tenth, or a fortieth part of the whole county. It must 
be obvious, therefore, that the difficulty which was felt in Antrim, of selecting the names, relatively 
to the whole number in the barony, becomes here greatly magnified. Thus, a comparatively fre- 
quent name may scarcely secure a place upon the map among the hundreds of population in Duf- 
fjrin ; while a comparatively unfrequent name may secure a prominent place among the thousands 
of Upper Iveagh : still the plan is adhered to, as on the whole the best. In the larger baronies, 
a much larger number arc represented in the higher Classes ; but probably very few appear which 
in other circumstances would have been omitted. The difference, therefore, is more in the style of 
printing than in the actual names which appear. 

Selecting all those names which occur six times or upwards in any barony, there are 252 which 
fulfil this condition ; and, as some of them occur with the required degree of frequency in several 
divisions, these 252 surnames arc printed on the map 440 times.* 

The actual number of distinct surnames in Down was not ascertained ; but the number in each 
of the divisions given here was carefully reckoned. They range from C5G in Upper Iveagh, to 129 
inMourne; and average 358 for each of the ten subdivisions. The number of separate surnames 
cannot possibly be less than 800, but more probably it approximates closely to 900. [The average 
for Antrim was 217 to each of its fourteen subdivisions: and the entire number was estimated 
at 700. J 


Arranging the whole 252 names in tabular form, and placing^ opposite to each the number of 
times it occurs in each of the ten divisions, the sums exhibit, as before, the leading county names. 
There are twenty names which occur fifty times or upwards in the printed list, and up to 122 times : 
that is to say, each of them represents from 300 to 732 households, or from 1800 to 4,392 indivi- 
duals. The name which reaches the highest limit is the well-known one, Smith ; this, therefore, 
is the lending name in the county of Down. The other nineteen, given in the order of their frequency 

a Tn the map of Antrim there were 180 surnames, oc- map ; while eighty-two are common to both. In the list, 

cm-ring iu all ')'>) times. Ol those which occur in Down, at the close of this article, these la=t names are printed 

there arc 17" that are not printed in t'ie Antrim map, in Italics. 
and lu-1 in Antrim which are not printed in the Down 


are Martin, M c Kee, Moore, Brown, Thomson, Patterson, Johnson, Stewart, "Wilson, Graham, Camp- 
bell, Robinson, Bell, Hamilton, Morrow, Gibson, Boyd, Wallace, Magee. b 

As the order of names in the county is not at all affected by the union of baronies just noticed, 
the proportions which the leading names bear to the whole may be here stated, and may be compared 
with similar facts in Antrim. The coincidence is of the most surprising kind ; so that if the num- 
ber of voters were not slightly different in the two cases, one descriptive paragraph might suit 
for both, figures and all. I am tempted to place them in juxta-position. 

Axtrim. Dowx. 

" Thei'e arc six surnames which comprise 633 There are six surnames which comprise 639 

in the printed list ; and ten which embrace 913, in the printed list ; and ten which embrace 958, 
or nearly one -tenth of the whole. If we take or nearly one-tenth of tbe whole. If Ave take 
the first fifteen, they embrace 1,2 5 names, or the first fifteen, they embrace 1,286 names, or 
more than one-eighth ; and the forty-one which more than one-eighth ; and the forty which have 
have been given in the text and note, embrace been given in the text and note, (with three 
2,384 names, or one-fourth of the whole. The others) embrace 2,519 names, or more than one- 
first sixty-seven comprehend 3,179, or one third fourth of the whole. The first seventy compre- 
of the whole ; and the first 157 extend to 4,768, hend 3,342, or one-third of the whole; and the 
or half of all the voters, householders, and indi- first 162 extend to 5,014, or half of all the 
viduals in the county. Of course, the remain- voters, householders, and individuals in the 
ing half of any of these is spread over about 550 county. Of course, the remaining half of any of 
surnames." Journal, vol. v., p. 326. these is spread over about 700 different surnames. 

The distribution of the names cannot be ascertained in the same way as in Antrim, as in the pre- 
sent instance there are only ten columns instead of fourteen. If the whole of the divisions were 
given, it is possible that some of the names which seem to occur in all might be wanting in one or 
two. The names which appear to be best distributed are Brown, Campbell, Johnston, Patterson 
Robinson, Thomson, and Wilson ; for each of them is found in all the ten baronies. If, however 
we look to those names which occur with sufficient frequency to entitle them to a place on the map, 
Moore and Smith are the best distributed; for each of them is printed on the map in eight of the 
ten baronies. Johnson, M'lvee, and Patterson, arc next in order, each of them being printed seven 
times; while Brown, Martin, Thomson, and Wilson, occur six times each. 

The worst distributed name in the whole county is Annett. It occurs only in the barony of 
Mournc, or parish of Kilkeel, and there to the extent of eighteen names, or 108 families. Xow, iu 

h The next twenty, in the order of frequency, are three time= :] cacti, therefore, may he t;iken to represent 

Scott, .Murray, M' t.'ullough. Orr, Graham, Anderson, 4i>"_! households, or 2.772 individuals. The twenty nien- 

Russcll, Ilaiuia. Murphy, Kitzsimons, Ferguson. Heron, tinned in this note -occur forty-three times each, on the 

lteid, M' Donnell, O'Hare, Jamieson, Kerr, Sloane, Car- average: [forty-two times in Antrim :] each, therefore, 

son, Crawford. The first twenty names occur seventy- represents 2-V> households or 1,048 individuals- 
toven times each, on the average ; [in Antrim seventy- 


the whole of Mourne, there are only 273 voters, so that this clan comprises the unusually large 
proportion of one-fifteenth of the whole ! Fitzshnmons is next in order, exhibiting forty-one names 
in Leealc, and one in each of two other baronies. In point of mere numbers in a barony, this is 
the highest degree attained anywhere in the two counties ; but there are 1,164 names in Lecale, 
60 that the forty-one are only the twenty-eighth part of the whole, and are, therefore, less concen- 
trated. O'Hara, or O'Hare, has thirty-five names in Upper Iveagh, and only five anywhere else ; 
while M c Kcating occurs only in two baronies, of the first Class in Lecale, and of the fourth Class in 

[By placing in vertical columns the numbers which represent the leading names, in each of the 
two counties, we ascertain those which preponderate over the joint area, and their order of succes- 
sion. Thus, Thomson, which is first in Antrim, takes precedence of Smith, which is first in Down; 
the former having 223 names in the two lists, and the latter 212. The order of the first twenty-five 
names in the two counties, is as follows : 1. THOMSOX, 2. Smith:, 3. Wilson, 4. Moore and Stewart 
(equal), 6. Brown, 7. Johnson, 8. Martin, 9. Boyd, Campbell, and Patterson (equal), 12. M'Kce, 13. 
Bell, 14. Bobinson, 15. Graham, 16. Wallace, 17. M'ALullan, 18. Crawford, 19. Hamilton, 20. Ken- 
nedy, 21. M c Alister, 22. Morrow, 23 Miller, 24. Gibson, 25. Craig. These represent 3,228 names 
in the two lists ; that is to say, 19,368 families, or 116,208 individuals. Xow, the population of 
the two counties jointly, is 681,018; so that these twenty-five c surnames emlrace seventeen per cent. y 
or from a fifth to a sixth of the wholei\ 


The plan laid down in reference to Antrim has been followed here also. "Whenever a name 
occurs six or seven times in any barony, it is printed on the map in Italics ; when eight or nine 
times, it is represented in Roman Letter ; when ten times (and upwards to fifteen), in BLOCK 
TYPE ; and when fifteen times and upwards, in Small Capitals. This arrangement was adopted 
somewhat arbitrarily, but answered the purpose in the case of Antrim ; it is open to question 
however, whether it is (pate the best. In the case of Down, for example, the large numbers 
run high;' 1 and so many as seven or eight reach twenty-five or upwards, in a single barony. 
Further, when a name appears at several points on the map, its culminating point is marked by the 
prefix f ; or if the two highest numbers be equal, there are two such marks. In a few instances 
a name occurs twice only, the numbers being equal ; in that case the symbol is omitted. The lead- 

c M'Xeill, Hunter, and Hill, nmon,^ the loading names classes : 
of Antrim, do nut appear in Down ; and Magee, in Down, VinHT ChA ,?S Down, i2 per cent., Antrim, 9 percent, 

appears nowhere in Antrim, SECON 3 " 25 ' " 21 " 

,; The Mi' names on the map of Down, and the -303 on Third, "' " 19, " " 23 " 

that of Antrim, are thus distributed, in their various Fourth, " _" 44 " " " 47 " 


ing name in each barony is followed by the mark = ; and, when a name occurs at one point exclu- 
sively, it is preceded by the symbol v 

It is somewhat singular that, in Down as in Antrim, the two highest names in any barony are 
names greatly concentrated and little known throughout the county. Thus, M c Mullan and 
M c Creedy in Antrim, both situated in Carey, occur jointly fifty seven times ; while in Down, Fitz- 
simons of Lecale, and 0' Hare of Upper Iveagh, occur seventy-six times in those two baronies. 
They thus represent, at those two points only, a joint population of nearly 3,000 souls. 

While the leading barony name reaches forty-one in Lecale, the leading one in Ncwry reaches only 
seven; all the names, therefore, which occur in the latter division, are of the fourth or lowest Class. 
The reason of this is easily seen. The " Lordship of Xewry," as it is called, contains the smallest 
list of voters of any division in the county, but not the smallest number of surnames; for "the 
frontier town of Ulster," like any other town, absorbs the population from various points. Hence, 
there is not here the same fixity of occupation which is so strongly illustrated in the case of the 
Annetts, in the adjacent district of Mourne. 

It sometimes happens that a name appears to be lower in numbers than it really is, from the 
fact that it lies near a barony boundary. Some names are reckoned in one district, therefore, and 
some in another ; and the result appears to contradict the experience of a person familiar with the 
locality. Thus, the Erwins or Irwins, of Lower Iveagh and Kinelarty, tend to the same point ; the 
Lowrys of Dufferin and Upper Castlercagh, and the Thomsons of Lower Iveagh and Ards. In many 
instances, it is obvious that persons of the same name have effected a settlement at several points ; 
but, in others, the parental seat can be distinctly shown, and the result of changes can be traced in 
the diminishing ripple of population as we recede from this point. Thus, the stronghold of the nu- 
merous Thomsons is in Kinelarty ; they are found still numerous, but in diminished numbers, in 
the adjoining baronies of Upper Castlcreagh and Lower Iveagh; they are again in diminished num- 
bers in the still remoter baronies of Lower Castlercagh and Upper Iveagh ; and, at greater distances, 
they scarcely secure a place on the map. In like manner, Bell culminates in Lower Iveagh; Smith in 
Lecale ; and Patterson in Upper Castlercagh. The original seat of the Martins was Lower Iveagh ; 
they still cast a well-marked shadow in Upper Iveagh, and Upper Castlercagh; it is a penttmhra 
only in Kinelarty, Lecale, and Ards ; and elsewhere it is quite undistingiushable. 

The different races arc less distinctly marked in Down than in Antrim, and the introduction of a 
"contour line" { or line passing through a number of points on the same level . on the map, does not aid 
us so much as was expected ; yet of forty-three Macs and O's we find twenty -one in Upper Iveagh ; 
and eleven of these occur nowhere else. Some of them reach high numbers. 

Of the 2o2 surnames which appear on this table, there are loT exclusive, or appearing only at 
one point. Of course, (he remaining ninety-live appear 283 times. Only a small proportion of the 
exclusive names, (just seventy-nine, or one-half are of the lowest Class ; while thirty-one are of 
the .third Class. For reasons alreadv stated, so many as ibrtv-two are of the second Class ; and live 


averaging more than twenty-five names each, are of the first Class. There are thirteen names, each 
of which occurs several times, but nowhere rises above seven; and fifteen others, each of which ex- 
hibits varieties of eight and nine. In general, however, names reach their maximum limit (as will 
be seen from the map), in numbers of the first and second Class ; and more than half of all which do 
so arc in the large baronies of Upper and Lower Iveagh. 


Considering how many surnames there are in this county, it is natural to suppose that some will 
present strange, or interesting, or illustrative varieties. One of the commonest is that in which 
changes of vowels occur, either in accordance with local peculiarities of speech, or merely from ca- 
price. On the former ground we have Rabb e and Robb, Larimer and Lorimer ; Taggart f and Teg- 
gart ; Harvey 8 and Hervey ; and, probably, we must ascribe to mere caprice, Abernathy, Nisbet, 
Kisbitt, Xesbett ; and Arskine for Erskine. In other instances, the lengthening or shortening of 
a vowel requires an alteration in the consonants, when the word is written ; but the principle is 
the same. Thus, Clelland, Cleland ; Dorian, Dorrian ; Magorian, Magorrian. Sometimes the 
spelling is varied to the eye, but the sound is identical to the ear ; as Boal, Bole ; Hay, Ilea , 
Colquhoun, Gaboon, Cahoone ; Waddle, "VVaddell. 

A very common change in a surname is the addition of a plural termination by the vulgar, as 
Law?, Hopes, blathers, Humes, Humphrcss (Humphry), Stotharts (Stoddart), Grimes (Graham), 
Dodd-v, Burns (Byrne), Barns (Baring), Sevens (Sefton), O'Briens. 

The modes of abbreviation are sometimes very peculiar. One of the commonest is to omit the 
prefix Mac or 0, and thus Ave have such names as 'Crory, 'Council, 'Hagan, 'Keating' 'Ivee, 
'Keown, 'Kinney, 'Millcn, 'Mullen, 'Xeill, &c. Another very usual plan is to shorten the word to 
the extent of a syllable, by omitting a vowel or consonant ; as Ste(v)enson, Shiel(d)s, Gai\de)ner, 
Titter (ing)ton, Pol(loc)k; Madole, for MacDowell, Greer, for MacGregor, Pender, for Prender- 
gast, 1 ' 

There is often a vulgar form of a surname which is never written, the correct form being used 
only on rare occasions. Thus, Buttonit (Arbutlmot), Kimmins (Camming), Kinnigam (Cun- 
ningham), Bruerton 1 (Brereton), Frazurc (Frisell), Haskiss (Hesketh), Skendritch (Scandrett), Mer- 
riday (Meredith), M'Elshendcr (Alexander.) 

Sometimes the consonants of cognate origin are interchanged. Thus, by an indiscriminate use 

c Compare those with the provincialisms form' for h Compare this with the English Chumley for Cholmon- 

farm, and band for bond. do ey. 

Like bagger tor beggar. J This form occurs in the ancient records of Cheshire, 

k Compare sergeant, JJer\y, Berk'.ey, Hertford' which is the original seat of the name. 


of two liquids, in names originally distinct, Torwey' and Tor/ey become tlie same ; so, also, Mul- 
ligan 11 and Million; Lyrfiate and Lhjyart, or Legate ; M'Quiggan and M f uiggan. 

In the barony of Mourne, the name Cunnigan is found ; it is very distinct in its origin and use 
from Cunningham, with which it is often confounded. Megraw is given here separately from 
M c Grath, but, in reality, the two names arc one. Muckle and Meikle are Scotch forms of the English 
Mutch and Mudge ; Little is common to both countries, probably in some instances altered from 
TAddell. M c Caw is sometimes changed into M c Kay, as Make and Mack are into Malcom; but they 
appear to be distinct names. Uprichard (for Ap-llichard) is a singular instance of the "Welsh settlers 
retaining the uncontracted form, though, on their native hills, the name usually takes the form Prit- 
ehard. Edgar 1 is vulgarly pronounced Agar, and some branches of the clan spell the name so, 
or Eager. It is pleasing to find that the ancient name of Magennis is abundant in both Iveagh and 
Locale, the old territory of the family ; that Savages and Whites are still pretty numerous in Ards ; 
and that Bagnall is not extinct in Xewry. Hamilton prevails nearly all over the county. 

There are several families of Saxon descent, whose names are commemorated in the names of 
townlands, villages, &c. ; so that though they may not appear upon the present map they are well 
known in the topography of the district. Without entering into an explanation of the individual 
names, the following may be enumerated : Bea-Forde, Castle Ward, Acrc m -M c Cricket, Isle- M c Cricket, 
Island-Henry, Jordan' s-Acvc, Jordan' s-Crew, Dodd' s-Island, Island- Tcggart, JReilli/' s-Trcnch, Gil- 
ford, Hill-hall, Mount- Stewart, Eclilin-ville, "Mount-Alexander, EusseU's-QaaTtcr. 

The term "town," is affixed on very slight grounds. Two families of the same name residing 
near each other, on a public road, might give such names as P>riggs's-town, Hendry' s-town, 
Megaghy's-town ; and three would certainly do so. Among the many names of this kind we have 
the more formal ones of Carson's, Coniam's, Cook's, Greg's, Herd's, Hogg's, Marshall's, Priests', 
Shane's, Thomas's, Waring' s, and Whigham's towns. Of all these names, Carson and Sloanc, in 
italics, are the only ones which appear on our map. More than half these places are in Ards, and 
three of them in the parish of Donaghadee. 

Long before the settlement of Lister, it was customary to name a place by appending the owner's 
name to the prefix "Pally." The Saxon settlers adopted the same plan, partly from analogy, and 

j Compare the provincial words " f)anne'' and " chim- n 'Tho term is here used in the general s^nse of an en- 
ley." closure. Thus, our Saxon forefathers called the ehureh- 

k The interchange of r/ nnd / occurs provinciallv in yard " Go d's acre " See Lon;/feliowa JWms. " It does 

braggot, for bracket, and sho/7 forshocA-. Similarly from not appear that in ancient times, an acre signified any 

tnbak (a i .live American word for pipe), came the determinate quantity of land ; and when, at length, it 

Spanish Tobi/70, whence the English word tobarvo, came to signify a specific quantity, the measure still 

'The four families fusing the term family in .1 large varied, till it was fixed bv the statute, called the Ordi- 

senc) of Dunbar, Hume, Kdgar, and Dundas, all trace miner fir Measuring of Lam!, passed in the reign of Ed- 

their descent in an 111, broken male lin -, from a common ward I. The perch, or rod. however, with which land 

ancestor < \> qvitrick, Karl of Northumberland, (-nij>. was measured, not being the same in all places, the acre. 

William I. It should bo borne in mind that surnames of course, still varied, as it does to to this day- In some 

originated about the twelfth century. The record of instances in Cornwall, what is called an acre, is not less 

the relationship is pros- rved to ties hour in their armo- than <> hundred statute acres! The Cheshire, the Lan- 

rial bearings; three of them having the same charge, cashire [also, the Cunningham, the Irish Plantation], and 

but varying the tincture, and the fourth varying both the statute acre consist of very different quantities." 

slightly. See Drumnnmd^ Ills',,,'; ,,f X'd c fh >'f'.di Fa- AWWV Arehuh iHossnrv.} ' 
m Hie.', and JhAiyius't /'-/,, hij W : 


( cully as a matter of necessity ; fur, as a general rule, except in countries newly discovered or ex- 
plored, it is unquestionable that " the common people fix all our names of places." Omitting the prefix 
" Bally," and selecting only those names which occur on the map, there arc townlands called Bally 
Adam, 'Black, 'Henry, 'Kelly, 'Vick-na-Kelly, [the town of Kelly's son], 'Magee, 'Martin, 'MeCon- 
nell, 'M'Connick, 'M c Keown, 'Murphy, 'Bogan, 'Honey, 'Busscll, 'White. In no instance does the 
position of the local name now coincide with the same name as applied to persons. There are several 
other townlands named from families, 11 which do not appear on the map ; and the prefix " Bally" 
occurs associated with them in like manner. Other prefixes are connected with family names ; as 
Bath-Gorman, Bath-Cunningham, Bath-Mullan, Tully-Branigan, (the hill of B.) Lis-na-Mulligan, 
(the fort of M.) Tir-Fergus, (the land of F.) Tir-Kelly, Saul, (i.e. Sabhal Bhadraig, the barn of 
Patrick.) Sometimes, without naming a family surname, a large denomination is indicated ; as 
( 'raig-na-Sassanach, the rock (or rocky land) of the Saxons, in the parish of Saintfield ; and Carn- 
Albanach, the stone heap of the Highlanders. 

An examination of the names of the townlands would lead us away too far from the present sub- 
ject, and might also forestall a special paper by some learned Gaelic scholar. But it may be per- 
mitted to name a few in a note. Some proclaim a Saxon p ancestry; others, again, are obviously 
of Celtic q origin. 

There are large districts in Upper Iveagh and Mourne thinly inhabited ; and even in the low- 
lands there arc spots where the inhabitants are few. In the parish of Kilkecl, there are townlands 
embracing more than 11,000 acres, or about seventeen square miles, with only one inhabited house! 
In Kilbroncy, there is an area of 5,000 acres, or nearly eight square miles, with only two families 
resident. In the whole county there arc 184 townlands which have not more than ten inhabited 
houses in any of them ; and there are 22 others which have none whatever. Of the former, the 
greatest number are in Ards [36], and Lecale [66.] Of the latter, the greatest number are in 
Upper Iveagh [8], Lecale [5], and Mourne [4.] 

n Bally Barnes, 'Branigan, 'Bryan, 'Copeland, 'Cullen, Bred), in Upper, forming the present parish of Knock- 

'French, 'Garvigan, Gilbert, 'Lucas. 'MacNamee, 'Ma- Breda. [Between the rivers Senegal and Gambia, in 

ginaghy, 'Megaughy, 'Macarnett, 'Macaratty, 'Maco- Western Africa, lies Sene-Gambia- showing a similar 

nosjhv, 'Macateer, 'MacKeown, 'Minnish,i'Mullen, 'Nicol, union of names,] Tullv-na-kill (the hill of the church), 

'Philip, 'Riekard, 'Ridley, 'Stokes, 'Walter, 'Ward, Tullvard (the high hill), Tullymore (the creat hill) 

'William. Tullylish (the hill of the fort), Lisduff (the black 

o There are two townlands of this name in the parish hill), and Lis-na-brague, Lis na sado, Li-na-Gonnell, 

of Moira, of the extent of about twenty-three and twelve and Lis-na-Tierney, all in the parish of Aghaderg. 

acres respectively. Neither of them "has any resident Ardglass (the green height). Derry boy (the yel- 

population, low oak wood), Derry oge fthe young oak wood), 

P Killinehy-in-the-woods, Narrow-water, Quarterland, Ross (the promontory), Ross-glass (the green promon- 

Grey Abbey. White Abbey, White Church, Fish Quar- tory), Ro^s-connor (Connor's promontory), Slieve-na- 

t r, Broom Q., Nuns' Q , Church Q., Spittle Q , Saul- griddle (the mountain of the sun, exhibiting traces of 

Q, Q. Bailee, New Castle, Trooper-field, Holy-wood, idolatrous worship at its summit), Inch (the island, 

Bishop's-Court, (in Ards formerly the episcopal resi- from its situation in reference to the Quoile river). 

deuce.) Strang-ford, Sheep-land, Green-castle, the Strand Bally-kinler (the town of the candlestick, certain en- 

(popularly the Sthron', at Killough.) dowments from it having provided candles for the high 

qCoolsallagh (the wood of osiers), Ballysallagh (the altar in one of the two cathedrals of Dublin), and Glass- 
place of the willows, or osiers), Knock-na-goney (the mass, in Cumber (green field.) The Holy well-station, 
hill of the rabbits), Billy-knock (the town of the hill), on the Chester and Holyhead railway, is called " Grcen- 
Knock-breckan (the fern hill.) The parish of Knock, field," by the English, and " Macs- Glass," by the Welsh, 
in Lower Cisl! ; i h, was united with the parish of 


In contrast with this diffusiveness, instances of the close condensation of families are more nume- 
rous and curious than in Antrim. The name Carse appears on the map in the parish of Killinchy : 
and all the persons of this name in the barony reside in this parish. Moreover, they are all found in 
one townland, Carrigulliam. There are thirteen families of the name Morrow in the same barony, 
of whom six are found in Deny -boy of Killileagh. The M c Il\vaines are all in Droniara parish, and 
in that part of it which lies in Kinelarty. There are eleven families of the name Blaney in Lecale ; 
and six of them arc found not only in one parish (Dunsfort) but in one townland (Sheepland More.) 
There r>re twenty-two Thomsons in Kinelarty, and fourteen are in the part of Maghcradrool which 
lies in that barony. Five out of seven of the name Jennings are found in Ballynacraig, in the 
parish of Inch ; and six out of nine of the name Xcil are in Wood-grange of Down. Half of the 
Dicksons are in Ballygorian More of Clonduff; nearly all the Hooks in Corbitt of Magherally ; 
and about half of the Annotts of Mournc, in the townland of Ballyvea. As before, each name is 
placed in the parish, without any attempt to secure a more minute localisation. 

These simple facts show, if we required any such proof, that the centrifugal tendency is not 
great among the agricultural classes. In several instances, by the appending of the terms 
"junior" and " senior," and by all the other Christian names differing, I think I can recognise a 
father and his live sons "(who, ten or fifteen years ago, were a single household,) claiming for 
their family surname an honourable place on our little map. But if we include not merely brothers, 
but cousins, there is no doubt that there are many such instances. If we take in second cousins, 
(viz., persona having had a common great-grandfather,) the name may rise to one of the second 
rank, still allowing for a reasonable proportion to sink below the level of our test, the parliamen- 
tary suffrage ; or to bo drained off for town population or colonists. If a father, with a growing 
family, had settled here so recently as 17S0, he might he represented at this hour by his great- 
grandsons, sturdy farmers, of thirty years old, " be the same more or less." But, as the majority 
settled a generation or two earlier, we have a superabundant population not on the voting list, in 
the proportion of live households to one. 

[It is a peculiarity of articles like the present that every one suggests half-a-dozen others; and 
the last paragraph reminds me that no attempt has yet been made to write the " Family History'' 
of our northern counties. The materials for it exist, but are passing away. I propose, health and 
leisure permitting, to write one or two such articles, which may not only interest by the facts them- 
selves, hut, us in the present case, may serve to guide others in researches of a similar kind.] 


As before, the figures in the columns of the Table show the baronies in which the names occur 
upon the map ; and this Table should show the whole -110 occurrences of the 2o2 names. The 
figures 1 denotes a name of the first Class, or one printed in small capitals; and 2, '.), 4, indicate 
block type. Hom;e] Mter, an 1 !: ' : . - p (jv. ly. 

The nuiiih-T.-, prefix.'.! in!: ,|. ;i, , .. |, ; . ;,, :,,, ],],, ,. . mt , . jp,,^ there are 12.5 which lake 


precedence of Adams, and 97 which precede Agnew. In the table referring to Antrim, five 
or six names sometimes amounted to the same general number, but their order was put down 
according to the alphabetical arrangement, A more correct plan is followed here, the nature of 
which will be apparent from the order for the two counties given above. Boyd, Campbell, and 
Patterson, are all ranked as ninth in order, that is to say, only eight numbers precede them ; but 
the next following, [M c Kee] is twelfth, as there are eleven which precede it. It is in this way that 
the names are all numbered 109, and the next number is 119 ; five are equal at this grade, and the 
next is 124, &e. Each of the group which is lowest in order is numbered 232 ; and such of them 
as appear in Upper or Lower Iveagh, Lecalc, or Ards, might have disappeared from the map had 
there been the usual number of fourteen baronies instead of ten. 

I am encouraged to believe that I do not overvalue this subject, from the numerous favourable 
testimonies which have been recorded respecting it, during the past three months. But as yet, only 
the first stone has been laid. If we had a map of Ireland, showing from twenty to fifty leading 
names in each county, we should be able to track the Saxon from the channel to the ocean, in his 
accumulations by conquest, grant, intermarriage, or purchase. If the same thing were done for 
England, our populations would, as it were, photograph themselves in their respective positions; 
and the numerous local causes which give rise to peculiar appellations would be ascertained with 
unusual facility; just as in geographical terms one shire is celebrated for "Halls," another for 
"fields," another for "becks," &c. ; and so the " Tre, Pol, and Pen," of Cornwall are only indica- 
tions of a large class of facts. In Scotland, though famine, the sword, clearance, and emigration have 
all swept over the country, a map of this kind would put flesh upon the dry bones, and muster each 
clan on the spot which it claims as its own. Instead of the loose generalities of topographers 
and tourists, we should ascertain the facts with absolute certainty; and, from the association 
of places and person^, it is impossible to say how much light might be thrown upon family 
and general history on the one side, or on local etymologies on the other. 

If we widen the horizon of our researches, and suppose this work done for the countries in the 
north and west of Europe, what limit can be placed to the knowledge which we should acquire of 
our neglected continental relations ? The Du Bois [jcood, a wood, or Atwood~\ would figure under the 
Anglican metamorphosis of Boys and Boyce ; and Cordeaux would be traced in Cordukes, just as 
the French heaux is vulgarised into English " bucks." In like manner, in the Scandinavian dis- 
tricts of our islands, Truelove would be represented in its original form, " Troe lof," [" bound in 
law, or bondsman"] while the northern Olav would be found altered to Mac Olav, MacAulif, and 

It is needless to pursue these reflections farther. Let me only request that those literary ex- 
plorers who may have patience sufficient to travel in the same path, will remember that I have 
gone two stages of the journey with them. And, I can assure them, that my guidance, whether of 
little or of much value, has boon given with laborious accuracy, and the most sincere good faith. 

A. IIcME. 

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The question has been often asked, who are the present representatives of the Geraldines of Des- 
mond ? The Knight of Glyn, and the Knight of Kerry, and the Fitzgibbons of Munster, may be 
considered at present as the only representatives, in a sort of way, of this great race; being de- 
scended from three legitimate sons of the celebrated John Fitzgerald, of Callan, who was slain by 
the MacCarthys, in 1261. This John of Callan left one legitimate son, Maurice, the ancestor of 
the Earls of Desmond, and three illegitimate sons, who became the founders of several respectable 
families in Munster, viz. ; 1. Maurice, by the wife of 0' Kennedy, the ancestor of the Knight of 
Kerry; 2. Gilbert, or Gibbon, by the wife of O'Coinin, ancestor of the White Knight, and of Fitz- 
Gibbon of Ardskea and Kilmore ; and 3. John More, surnamed na-Sursainne [of the Surcingle] by 
the wife of 0' Collins, chief of Hy-Connell Gaura, ancestor of the Knight of Glyn, and also of the 
Fitzgeralds of Clonlish, Finitcrstown, and Ballinard, in the county of Limerick, and of the Fitz- 
geralds of Ballinphoill, and Moinhotry, in the Decies, in the present county of Waterford. 

It has been also often asked, whether any of the descendants of the last Earl of Desmond are yet 
extant ? It has been universally acknowledged by our geneaologists that his male descendants are 
long extinct, though some of his female descendants may still be extant ; but none of them has taken 
the trouble, so far as I know, to trace this descent. The following pages are devoted to this in- 
quiry ; and the writer will feel thankful to any reader who will be kind enough to point out any 
error in what he advances, or who can throw additional light on a subject winch must be now 
considered as of much curiosity, if not of historic interest. 

Gerald, the sixteenth and last Earl of Desmond, who forfeited the largest estate that any indivi- 
dual in Ireland ever possessed, married Eleanor, daughter of Edmund, Lord Dunboyne ; by whom 
be had one son, James, who died in the Tower of London ; and two daughters ; 1. Catherine, who mar- 
ried Sir Daniel O'Brien, first Viscount of Clare, third son of Conor, third Karl of Thomond ; and 2. 
Kllcn, who married Sir Valentine Browne, ancestor of Lord Kenmare. 

John Fitzgerald, the nephew of the unfortunate Desmond, retired to Spain in the year 1G03, where 
he was known as the Conde dc Desmond. He died at Barcelona, leaving hy his wife, the daughter 
of Richard Comerford, of Danganmore in the county of Kilkenny, an only son. Dr. Daniel O'Daly, 
the historian of the Geraldmos, who was an attached adherent of his family, and who had attained to 
an eminent position in the chmvl] in Spain, speaks of his brief career as follows : " This loved youth, 
created Count at my instance, did not tarry long in the land of Spain. The scanty pension allowed the King was not commensurate with the dignitv and rank which belonged to the heir of 


Desmond. In fact, he saw that many Irish, then at the King's court, were preferred to him ; and 
these were men who could not dare to compare with the Gcraldinc in his own country. Wherefore, 
choosing rather to trust to fortune, he abruptly left Spain, and, taking service in his Cocsarian Ma- 
jesty's army [that of the Emperor of Germany] served him well and chivalrously for three years. 
But at last, when he had the command of a strong town, then besieged, he was called on to sur- 
render. This he refused, choosing rather to die of starvation than betray his trust." 

This Gerald, Conde de Desmond, died without leaving any issue, and in him ended the male re- 
presentation of a line of nobles who, since the extinction of the Earldom of Lister, were certainly 
the most powerful in Ireland, and who had bravely supported their sovereigns in their wars in Erance 
and the Holy Land. 

On the death of Gerald, son of John, Conde de Desmond, the representation of the Earls of Des- 
mond reverted to the descendants in the female line of Gerald, the sixteenth Earl. His eldest 
daughter, Catherine, married Sir Daniel O'Brien, afterwards Tiscount Clare. A younger daughter 
married Sir Valentine Browne, founder of the family of the Earl of Kenmare. The Yiscounts 
Clare accordingly became the representatives of the Eitzgcralds of Desmond, on the extinction of the 
male issue of John, Conde de Desmond, by the decease of his son, Gerald, as already mentioned. 
Conor O'Brien, second Yiscount Clare, had, besides his son Daniel, third Tiscount Clare, two 
daughters, who left issue, viz., Helena the elder, who married Captain Roger O'Shaughnessy, of 
( - ; ort, in the county of Galway, and Elizabeth, who married the Knight of Kerry. 

Daniel, third Viscount Clare, was a zealous adherent of the kings of the Stuart race, and particu- 
larly of King James II., whose cavalry he commanded at the battle of the Boync; and throughout 
a long military career gave the highest proof of ability, as well as of fidelity to the three kings of 
England, whose favour he enjoyed. He went abroad with his regiment after the Treaty of Lime- 
rick, and became Colonel of one of the proprietary regiments in the French service, his own corps of 
cavalry being constituted one, the command of which was always to continue in his descendants. 

The Viscounts Clare, who, as has been shown, represented the great house of the Eitzgcralds of 
Desmond, after the decease of Gerald, Conde de Desmond, continued in the Roman Catholic faith, 
remaining steadfast to the political as well as religious principles of their progenitors, both paternal 
and maternal. Charles, the sixth Viscount Clare, (by courtesy,) commanded the Irish regiments 
in the French service, at Fontenoy and other places, where they maintained their military character 
in a manner too well known to require special mention here. He frequently visited his cousin, the 
Earl of Thomond, in England, after the peace of Utrecht, [1713,] and was presented by him to King 
George I., who made him an offer that the estates of his family and his dignity should be restored, 
if he would become a member of the Established Church of England. He, nevertheless, refused; 
and, on the death of Henry, eighth Earl of Thomond, his landed property went to the next in legal 
succession, who were Protestants. The eighth Earl of Thomond, however, (to his great honour be 
it mentioned, left him a legacy of twenty thousand pounds. 


The history of the two families of Thomond and Desmond may well induce a doubt of the correct- 
ness of a saying attributed to Lord Burleigh, that " nobility is nothing but ancient riches." [Never, 
probably, did blood and lineage more assert their influence and exhibit their force than in these two 
races of O'Brien and Fitzgerald. The sympathy felt for them in foreign countries is strikingly in- 
stanced by the course pursued by Louis XI V. On the death of Charles, the fifth Viscount Clare, (who 
died at Brussels of wounds received in the battle of Ramilies, A.D. 1706, his son, being still very 
young,) the preservation of the colonelcy of the proprietary Regiment of Clare was due to the inter- 
position of the French king, who did not wish to let it pass from a family that had abandoned all but 
their honour and their sivorda for the cause to winch they had adhered. His Majesty, therefore, re- 
served a right of succession for the young Lord Charles O'Brien; and, in the meantime, appointed as 
its Lieutenant-Colonel, Morogh O'Brien, to command by brevet; in consideration of his paying to 
the young Viscount Clare, every year, six thousand livres, out of the emoluments attached to 
his post. 

Time at length demonstrated that the unfortunate estrangement of the Irish Roman Catholics, 
both at home and abroad, from the British crown, crippled the strength of the empire ; and the 
pressure of circumstances necessitated the adoption of a conciliatory policy. By slow degrees the 
principle of civil and religious liberty asserted its influence; and, in proportion to its growth, was 
the increase of the good sense and of the practical charity that has since resulted from toleration 
throughout Christendom. 

In the year 1771, Charles O'Brien, known as seventh Viscount Clare, died without issue ; and the 
representation of this family, as well as of the sixteenth Earl of Desmond and third Earl of Thomond, 
devolved heraldically in Ireland on the descendants of Captain Roger O'Shaughnessy ; that is to 
say, the representation did so, of the families of which these noblemen were the heads. The sixth 
Viscount Clare, however, left a representative in France, through the female line, the Due de Choi- 
seul, Prcslin, being descended from him. 

Captain Roger O'Shaughnessy left an only son, William, who served with distinction in the 
French army, though not possessing a proprietary regiment like his uncle Daniel, third Viscount 
Clare. lie commenced his military career in 1689, as captain of one hundred men for King James 
II., in Ireland; and went to France in 1690, in O'Brien's regiment, belonging to the brigade com- 
manded by Lord Mountcashcl. He served through the various great campaigns of Louis XIV., in 
Germany, Italy, and Flanders; and died at Gravelines, in January 17-11, having attained the rank 
of Major-General, or Marechal de Camp. On his death, his only sister, Helena, became the repre- 
sentative of the family; but their great estate of Gort had been confiscated, in consequence of the part 
taken by Captain Roger O'Shaughnessy in upholding King -lames I I. 

Captain Roger O'Shaughnessy was eldest son of Sir Dermot O'Shaughnessy, who possessed Gort 
as a fee held by knight's service, as his ancestors had done from the time of King Henry VIII; 
when Dermot O'Shaughnessy, then the head of his family, or captain of his nation, surrendered the 


lands which had belonged to his progenitors from time immemorial, and received a grant of the 
same from the English crown, by knight's service, together with the honour of knighthood. Sir 
Dcrniot's successors, thus being all deemed knights of Gort until the time of the last Sir Dermot, 
were styled accordingly ; but Sir Dermot forfeited his lands on account of his adherence to the 
cause of Charles I. and Charles II., and received only a portion of them back, in consideration of 
his loyalty and merits, (under a special clause in the Act of Settlement,) to be held by the modern 
tenure of Common Soccage : his son, Roger, therefore, was never considered to have borne the honour 
of knighthood. 

The family of O'Shaughncssy descended from Dathi, the last pagan monarch of Ireland, (said to 
have been killed by lightning at the foot of the Alps,) was so celebrated for dignity, integrity, and 
high bearing, that De Burgo, in his Ilibernia Dominicana, was induced to say of them " cujus no- 
bilitatem, antiquitatem, et intcgritatem qui non novit, Hiberniam non novit !" Sir Dermot O'Shaugh- 
ncssy, the father of Captain Roger, was distinguished for his attachment to the house of Stuart, and 
took aleading part among the Confederate Catholics of Kilkenny. Helena iSy-Shaughncssy, who, as has 
been already observed, became the representative of the family, on the death of her brother "William, 
in 1744, married Theobald Butler, and was the mother of Francis, John, and Theobald Butler, 
living in 1784, and great-grandmother of the Right Honourable James Fitzgerald, who was born in 
1742, and died 20th January, 1835, at the advanced age of 93 years. Mr. Fitzgerald was thus 
lineally descended in the seventh degree from Gerald, sixteenth Earl of Desmond. Gylles ]Sy- 
Shaughnessy, the aunt of this Helena, married Daniel O'Donovan, of Castledonovan, in the county 
of Coi'k, chief of his name ; and from her the present O'Donovan (Morgan William, son of Morgan 
of Mountpellier, near Cork) is descended, in the sixth generation. 

Mr. Fitzgerald had two grand-uncles in the army of James II. ; viz., Colonel Nicholas Fitzgerald, 
and Robert Fitzgerald, who was comptroller of the Musters, as was his ancestor in the fourth de- 
gree, Captain Roger O'Shaughncssy. 

Mr. Fitzgerald was paternally descended from David Fitzgerald, or Fitzgibbon, commonly called 
the " White Knight," feudal Lord of Kilmore, in the county of Cork, who became the eldest male 
representative of the descendants of Gibbon or Gilbert Fitzgerald, who was styled " the^ White 
Knight." On the decease of Edmund Fitzgibbon, the " White Knight," who first (as appears from the 
pedigree of his family, in Lambeth Palace) assumed the name of Fitzgibbon, instead of Fitzgerald, 
A.D. 1607, his estates devolved on his daughter, who married the celebrated Irish Chief 
Secretary, Sir Geoffrey Fenton, from which marriage is descended the Earl of Kingston. Edmund 
Fitzgibbon, the "White Knight" already mentioned, was enabled to arrange with the English 
government, as one of the conditions of his betraying the Earl of Desmond, that he should not only 
preserve his landed property, but should transmit it to his daughter, contrary to the usual rules of 
descent of Knight's Fees in Ireland, which would have given it to David Fitzgibbon, of Kilmore, 
commonly called no Carrig, (i.e., David of the Rock.) It must be observed, however, that, if the 


fief of tlie White Knight had been allowed to descend, according to the common course of law, to 
his cousin, David ne Carrig, it would have been confiscated ; as the estate actually possessed by the 
latter was, in consequence of participation in the rebellion of Gerald, sixteenth Earl of Desmond, in 
the year 1585. 

In Ireland, at an early period, those who possessed knight's fees were called knights, and often 
took the name of the land they held by military service. Thus, the first Knight of Kerry was the 
son of the father of the first Earl of Desmond, and appears to have been so called from his fief being 
in the county of Kerry ; while his descendants still continue to enjoy the same honorary distinction. 
The Knight of Glyn was another son of the same chieftain ; and was so denominated on account of 
his land being a well-known valley called Glencorbry, now Glyn, in the county of Limerick, which 
has remained in the possession of his posterity. Tbc White Knight was senior to the latter ; and 
all three were the illegitimate sons of the same father, John of Callan, according to several Irish 
MSS., which arc corroborated by a genealogy in the Carew collection at Lambeth, compiled by order 
of government, on the termination of the civil wars in Munster, with a view evidently to making 
arrangements as to the property wliich had been forfeited. 

The White Knight possessed a very large estate in the counties of Limerick and Cork, which, at 
a comparatively recent period, was declared by Mr. Arthur Young to be the finest estate in Europe. 
The White Knight was not, however, called after his land, but is supposed to have taken his dis- 
tinctive appellation from tbe colour of his armour. The family of the White Knight was always 
esteemed the second branch of the great southern house of the Geraldincs, of which the Earl of 
Desmond was the head. There was likewise a Fitzgibbon, a Knight of Ardskca ; and another, 
Knight of Clonlish, \_Ridire na Claenc/hlaise] who seems to be the same as the old Knight. 

It has been already stated that the descendants of Sir Dermot O'Shaughnessy (knighted by King 
Henry Till., in 1553,) continued to be recognised as knights until their tenure per scrvitium 
militare came to an end, in the time of Cromwell ; restitution being made to them after the Resto- 
ration of Charles II., in Common Soccagc. 

In Scotland, likewise, persons are frequently spoken of as ''knights" of certain places, because 
they held by military service. 

At the time of the visit of his Majesty King George IV. to Ireland, in 1821, the claim of the 
Earl of Kingston, to be allowed a place on public occasions, as "the White Knight," in company 
with the Knight of Kerry, was successfully opposed by Mr. William Vcsey Fitzgerald, (after- 
wards Lord Fitzgerald of Desmond, and of Clangibbon,) eldest son of the Right Honourable James 

The Right Honourable James Fitzgerald was younger grandson of Mr. James Fitzgerald, whose 
two brothers already mentioned were present at the Battle of the Boyne. On the decease, in 1852, 
of Major William Edmund Fitzgerald, of Drumbighill, in the county of Clare, without issue, Mr. 
Fitzgerald'^ son, Henry, third Lord Fitzgerald, and Vesci, became the eldest male representative of 


that race of the Goraldines, " commonly called the White Knights," (to use the expression recorded 
on the tomb of their house, in the Abbey of Kilmallock,) and of the family of Fitzgibbonor Clangibbon. 

Mr. Fitzgerald naturally entertained a strong feeling in reference to the losses sustained by hi3 
ancestors and relatives during the civil wars ; the forfeiture of Gerald, sixteenth Earl of Desmond, 
having been larger than of any other individual ; and the property which was confiscated, that had 
belonged to the branch of the White Knight's family from which he was descended, as well as to the 
O'Shaughnessys and others with whom he was connected, being likewise of vast extent. He always 
kept up close relations with the Roman Catholic body in Ireland, and at an early period devoted his 
efforts to the advancement of civil and religious liberty. He was also strongly attached to the 
cause of Irish nationality, and took a decided part in favour of the Declaration of Independence in 
1782, and was one of those who succeeded in carrying it in the Irish House of Commons. From 
that period, until the Legislative Union with Great Britain was proposed, he continued to fill high 
official positions ; but, deeming that measure inconsistent with the interests of Ireland, he resigned 
office, considering that " the post of honour was a private station," when political turpitude prevailed 
to the extent it then did, overbearing all opposition. 

Mr. Fitzgerald having inherited considerable wealth from his maternal grandfather, Pierce Lynch, 
Esq., and being in possession of largo private fortune from various sources, a peerage was pressed 
upon his acceptance as an inducement to support the Union ; but he never thought proper to re- 
ceive this mark of distinction. 

Mr. Fitzgerald married Catherine, eldest daughter of the Rev. Henry Ycsoy, Warden of Galway, 
and co-hcircss of her brother, Mr. John Vesey, of Oranmore, in the county of Galway, who died 
A.D. 1770. This lady was descended from the family of which Viscount De Yesci is the head ; and 
derived extensive property in the county of Galway from her great-grandfather, the Most Reverend 
John Ycscy, Archbishop of Tuam, a zealous adherent and personal friend of King William III., 
during part of whose reign he acted as one of the Lords Justices of Ireland. In 1815 her two sons, 
in conformity with the Will of their uncle, Mr. John Ycscy, assumed by sign manual the name and 
arms of Yesey, in addition to that of Fitzgerald ; and she was created a peeress of the kingdom of 
Ireland, A.D. 1826, by the title of Baroness Fitzgerald and Yesci. 

Her eldest son, Mr. William Ycsoy Fitzgerald, was returned to parliament soon after the Union, 
for Ennis, in the county of Clare, a borough in which his father possessed political influence. He 
subsequently represented the county of Clare, and became a member of the Duke of Wellington's 
Cabinet, in the year 1828. Mr. Yesey Fitzgerald had long been one of the most efficient of the 
parliamentary friends of the Roman Catholics. 

When the late celebrated O'Connell declared his intention of coming forward himself as a candi- 
date, in opposition to Mr. Fitzgerald's re-election, asserting that he could take his scat in the House 
of Commons, though a Roman Catholic, under the then existing law; and a contest ensued, which 
terminated in the return of Mr. O'Connell, by an overwhelming majority ; accusations were made 


against Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald of luke-warmness or hostility to the cause of the Roman Catholics. 
Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald, however, subsequently again represented Ennis, and on his mother's deatli 
succeeded to her Peerage. In A.D. 1835, he was created a Peer of the United Kingdom, by the 
title of Lord Fitzgerald of Desmond, and of Clangibbon, in the county of Cork. In A.D. 1841 , he 
became President of the Board of Control, in Sir llobcrt Peel's Cabinet, his health having compelled 
him to abstain from proceeding as Governor- General to India soon after the formation of that adminis- 
tration, and died May 11th, 1843, unmarried. 

He was succeeded in his Irish Peerage by his brother Henry, third Lord Fitzgerald and Vesci, 
the present Peer, who is likewise the Very Rev. the Dean of Kilmore. 

We have thus traced, through various channels, down to the present day, the representatives of 
Gerald the sixteenth Earl of Desmond, and found the race to have been uniformly talented, gene- 
rous, and noble-hearted. It will afford us much gratification if any correspondent will point out 
others of the same illustrious blood. Joux O'Doxovan. 


Some engineering operations in the neighbourhood of Kells and Connor, in this county (about 
four miles from Ballymena), lately brought under my observation a series of very remarkable 
caves, which, so far as I am aware, have not hitherto been noticed. They are situated close to the 
present church of Connor, part of them being covered by the burying-ground ; and a local tradi- 
tion affirms that a passage proceeds from one of them directly under the church itself. One cave is 
divided from the rest by the intervening river; but it is believed by the people on the spot that a 
passage exists under the bed of the stream connecting it with those on the opposite side. 

The whole of these caves are evidently artificial, being built of large undressed stones, without 
any kind of mortar or cement. The walls are corbelled in to support the roof, which is, in all 
cases, composed of large flatfish stones. The depth of soil, at present covering the top of the caves, 
varies from four to fifteen feet. The accompanying plan, which was carefully made on the spot, gives 
a correct idea of their arrangement and connection with each other, so far as the inquiry has vet 
been pursued. It is not improbable that other similar chambers may exist in their immediate 

The first cave into which we entered (marked A on the plan} was about 18 feet long by 5 feet 
wide, narrowing towards one end next the passage leading into it a circumstance observed in all 
the caves we examined. This chamber was very wet, from the copious dropping of moisture fronis 
the roof; but the others were quite dry. The passage leading to it had been opened some years 




.: ! ;i MP OF CAVES, &c. 

>?>*</ ,/ />v?//a A*^ //7 


* D/ssrv/r stopped up itifli Sfw/es, 
o F/ilratire rnfoi ('/urs 

Ho/e opened af C7/urr/u 

ago, and was now filled up with small stones. The height of this chamber, and, indeed, of all 
those we entered, was about 5 feet. From it we crawled through a very low and narrow passage 
'not more than 18 inches square) for a distance of about 8 feet. Near the centre of this passage, 
one stone projected downwards from the roof much lower than the rest; and at this spot, also, the 
floor of the passage sunk perceptibly, so as almost to preclude the possibility of seeing from one 
chamber into the nest. There was, likewise, a considerable angle in the direction of the passage 
itself. After proceeding about eight feet, we found ourselves in a second chamber (marked E), 16 
feet long by 5 feet wide, having at its farther end a very small opening leading into another nar- 


vow passage. This, however, extended only about five feet, and then seemed to turn off at nearly 
a right angle. Had we been able to explore it farther, it is most probable that it would have led 
to another similar cave. 

The third chamber (marked B on the plan) was almost of the same dimensions as the one first 
described ; and, so far as we observed, was not joined to the others by any passages. These, how- 
ever, may exist. 

Crossing the river, we next entered and crawled along another narrow passage for about 10 feet, 
and then emerged into a chamber (marked C) about 16 feet by 5, which we afterwards ascertained 
to be situated exactly underneath a cottage, indicated on the plan. This chamber had three pas- 
sages leading into it. The one by which we entered, as already mentioned, was about 10 feet 
long, and it became gradually wider and higher as we approached the chamber. It is the continu- 
ation of this passage that is said by tradition to lead right under the bed of the river, joining the 
caves first described. The second passage from this chamber issues from the farther end, and is 
believed traditionally to pass under the road, and lead to other caves on a rising ground. We were 
onlv able to follow it for a few feet. The third passage was at one side, and after proceeding about 
eight feet became wider and higher, and then turned upwards like a funnel. This was probably 
the ancient entrance to this set of chambers. 

The last cave which we examined was on the opposite side of the river (marked D). This cham- 
ber was twenty feet long, and more than five feet wide, and was higher than any of the others, 
being in some places nearly six feet. It was entered, like the rest, by a narrow passage ; and at 
one side, near the farther end, a second passage went otf at right angles ; but here all progress was 
soon stopped by large roots of trees, though believed to extend under the church. Another large 
chamber belonging to the same set had existed close by, but was destroyed in making the new- 

About the centre of the cave marked D., and at its highest part, I observed a large stone stand- 
ing out about three inches below the general surface of the root, having on it some curious marks, 
so regular as almost to induce the belief that they are an inscription of some kind. The more re- 
gular characters were about three inches long, the others more. Of these, the annexed is an accu- 
rate copy. I am not aware whether they resemble the form of ancient characters called Ogham. 
[f they should prove to he an inscription of this kind, they are probably the first yet discovered in 
Ulster; for although numerous Oghams are found on stones and in caves in the South of Ireland, 
the}" do not appear hitherto to have been met with in any pari of the North. 

The traditions of the neighbourhood afford no clue to the history or former use of these caves. 
It is not probable they were used for interment, as no indication of urns or human bones was ob- 
servable in any part of them. One man, indeed, told us that some bones had been found in one of 
the chandlers, but the close vicinity of a burying-ground would easily account for them; or thev 
may have been the hones of animals used as food. However, these bones were not forthcoming, and 
we were unable to ascertain any further particulars about them. The impression left on the mind, 
after examining all the chambers, was certainly that they had been used as places of refuge or con- 


cealnient in ancient times ; and their peculiar construction, approachable only by narrow and 
winding passages leading from one cave to another, would indicate that they had been planned for 
this purpose. But I must leave the discussion of this point, and of the date of their formation, to 
others. Having mentioned the traditions of the neighbourhood, I shall conclude with one 
which has something in it of the marvellous. At the end of the long passage which is said to pass 
beneath the church, avc were assured that there are hidden the images of the Virgin Mary and the 
twelve Apostles, made of pure gold ! but so concealed by magic or enchantment that they cannot 
be found. Not long before the time of our visit, six of the country -people had determined to search 
for this valuable treasure, and accordingly -went in the night-time and commenced operations. One 
of their number, who said he did not like digging among graves after night, was left outside as a 
watch; while the others proceeded to open the ground immediately beside the door of the church. 
All went on well until they came down to a large flat stone (in fact the roof-stone of one of these 
raves or passages), when all of a sudden the crow-bar with which one of the men was working 
disappeared out of his hands ; and he being persuaded that some one had a hold of the other end 
of it, no doubt " the old gentleman,") lost no time in making his escape. The panic became gene- 
mi, and the whole party, leaving their tools behind them, rushed past their astonished watchman 
at racing speed. So ended the sacrilegious attempt to carry off the Virgin and the twelve Apostles. 

J. Lanyo>\ 



Airrarit's Rofnd Table. [Xotcs and Queries, 
vol. 5, p. 252.] The idea alluded to by II. P., 
namely, lhat a round table was devised to pre- 
vent all disputes about precedency, is embodied 
in a proverb in two languages, tbe Italian and 
the French. " A tavola ronda non si contende 
del luoco ;" and " Ronde table ote le debat." It 
is highly probable that both these old sayings 
have come down to us from the times of chivalry, 
and that they took their origin in the romances 
of the Troubadours about Arthur and his 
" Knights of the Hound Table." The story is 
said to have been first brought to the British 
Islands in 1077, by Rhys ap Tudor, on his re- 
turn to Wales from Brittany, where it probably 
took its rise. AVaee, who wrote in 1155, says, 
(v. 9,994) : 

*' For les nobles barons qu'il ot * * * 
Fist Art us la Roonde Table 
Dont Breton client inainto fable." 


Townsend, in his Statistical Survey of the 
County of Cork, published in 1815, mentions 
vol. 1 , p. 145) that in that part of Ireland heaps 
of burnt stones are found in great numbers, which 
are said to have been used by the inhabitants, in 
ancient times, for cooking their victuals. He 
says these heaps art 1 often found in the neigh- 
bourhood of bogs, and frequently covered over 
with the turf, which has been formed since the 
period when they were used. The stones are 

commonly small, seldom exceeding half-a-pound 
weight, and when in convenient spots are used 
for repairing the roads. In spite of this, and 
the levelling of many of the heaps in tilling the 
ground, great numbers still remain, indicating a 
very considerable ancient population in that dis- 
trict. Small pieces of charcoal are found in them, 
showing that wood was the fuel employed : 
and it is observable that these heaps of stones 
are always near water, an additional proof of 
their having been used for cooking.' I wish to 
be informed whether the same has been observed 
in any other part of Ireland. Anglict/s. 

In an Irish newspaper, dated November 1, 
1785, is the following notice: " On the banks 
of a rivulet, in the Xorth of Ireland, is a stone 
with the following curious inscription, which 
was, no doubt, intended for the information of 
gtrangers travelling that road : ' Take notice, 
that when this stone is out of sight it is not safe 
to ford the river.' " This reminds one of the 
famous finger-post, which was erected, not many 
years ago, in Kent, by order of the Surveyor of 
the Roads, with the following notice inscribed 
U p on i t : This is a bridle-path to Feversham ; 
if you can't read this you had better keep the 
main road!" We thus see that all "Bulls" are 
not "Irish Hulls." Eikionnach. 

The word Erse, applied to the Gaelic Ian- 
<maire by many writers who ought to know 


hitter, ought surely to be expunged now from 
our philological vocabulary. It is merely a mal- 
prouunciation of the word "Irish." (Scotice 
" Eerish.") So little is it understood on the con- 
tinent, that I find it explained in one of the best 
and most recent French dictionaries, (Spiers' s) 
as "the language of the ancient Scandinavians!" 


When I was a child, I remember an old cook in 
the family, on every Hallowe'en, baking a three- 
cornered oaten cake, with a hole in the middle, 
by which she strung it round my neck. It was 
called a stroan. iNTo doubt there was some super- 
stition connected with it ; but what was it ? and 
what language is the word stroan ? I am not sin- 
gular in my recollection of this circumstance, as 
several of my friends also remember it. I am 
speaking of the county Derry. J. F. 

Tue Iiusu Language. I have read with 
great interest the remarks of J. T\'., of Cork, 
[Journal, vol. v., p. 243,] on the prevalence of 
the Irish language. It appears to me that his 
facts are correct, but his inferences erroneous. 
The capability of speaking a language is one 
thing, and the actual use of it another. Pro- 
bably one tenth of the Jews in Europe can speak 
Hebrew ; but no two of them make it the cur- 
rent vehicle of'thought. In like manner, there 
may be two millions of people in England who 
can speak French; but there are, probably, not 
two hundred who speak it only. The Irish- 
speaking population has, unquestionably, in- 
creased in the course of years ; but it is only in 
absolute numbers, not relatively to the whole 
population. In July, 1844, i met a wild sort 
of guide, on the Tore mountain, at Killarney, 
and, asking him if there were anv who knew 

Irish only, "Oh no!" he replied, "none but 
some wild fellows among the mountains." ' ' Even 
with such a man as this," I remarked, " the 
Saxon tongue is the symbol of civilization." In 
1850 a statistical return was made of 5,439 fami- 
lies, embracing a population of 29, GOO, in a low 
part of the town of Liverpool. It was found 
that not fewer than 1,356 families had some 
adult members who could speak Irish. Yet the 
Irish, except in occasional expressions, was not 
used by any of them as a means of communica- 
tion. A written language, side by side with a 
mere spoken one, breaks it down eventually ; 
and, had the Irish been sooner reduced to writ- 
ing extensively, and books printed in it, there 
would have been a greater chance of its standing. 
Another generation will probably clear off many 
thousands of those who use it currently in speech; 
and, by the end of ihe present century, it will be 
driven into the almost inaccessible parts of the 
bogs and mountains. Philalethes. 

Invitation to a Piq. Every rural child in 
Ulster must have frequently heard the sound 
" tthur-tthur, tthur-tthur," employed in calling 
a pig. It is obviously the Irish tore, with the 
final consonant elided, as when a Jew calls 
" ole' do'." Unconsciously, then, and in a dif- 
ferent tongue, the domestic servant is calling 
" pig-pig, pig-pig." 

In connection with this subject it ma}- be 
mentioned that the game of school-boys, called 
"see-saw," or " shuggy-shoo," is also called 
" copplc-thurrish." This is obviously " horse- 
and-pig," (which the two Irish words imply) 
as if the two animals were balancing against 
each other, and alternately becoming elevated 
and depressed. Ballinamuck. 

The two bronze fibulas here figured (full size), 
were found not long since in Dcrryullagh bog, 
between Eandalstown and Toome, (County of 
Antrim). This bog has furnished many objects 
of antiquity. In it were found the remains of 
one of the crannogs, or island-fortresses, of which 
many examples have been met with in Ulster, 
situated either in lakes or morasses. Portions of 
several ancient boats were found here, and the 
bronze pin, ornamented with two human heads, 
figured in this Journal, vol. iv., p. 269. Tra- 
dition says that this erannog was at one period 
occupied by robbers. [Edit.] 

The two objects represented in the margin were 
recently found near Skerry, in the Braid, Co. 
of Antrim. They arc made of thin brass, strongly 
soldered at a seam down their entire length. The 
larger and more perfect one forms a hollow tube, 
about twenty-four inches long, and half-an-inch 
in diameter, open at the wider end, but having 
evident proof at that place of having been at one 
time united to another tube of brass of similar 
diameter, whether to that which accompanies it 
or not it would be impossible to say. The other 

end of the larger tube, 
also open, is furnished 
with a collar, with a 
small projecting end- 
piece, diminished to half- 
an-inch in diameter, and 
apparently intended to fit 
into a socket. Both these 
brass tubes arc a good 
deal fractured : the smal- 
ler one, particularly, 
which is about twelve 1 
inches long, and the 
same diameter as the 
other at both ends, is 
quite torn ; and at one 
of them, there are five 
regular transverse ori- 
fices, cleanly cut through 
the brass, and the re- 
mainder of a sixth, no 
longer distinctly defined. 
Jt is not easy to dis- 
cover to what purpose 


these objects had been applied. No circumstance 
connected with their finding, that might assist in 
forming a conjecture as to their use, has come 
to the knowledge of the writer. On a cursory 
view, they might almost be taken for the frag- 
ments of a musical instrument; but they are, 
more probably, parts of some domestic implement 
of ancient date. G. B. i 

Paballel Passages. 

" Tell me where is Fancy bred, 
Or in the heart, or in the head ? 
How begot, how nourished '? 
It is engender'd in the eyes 
With gazing fed : and Fancy dies 
In the cradle where it lies : 
Let us all ring Fancy's knell, 
I'll begin it : Ding, dong, bell. 
Ding, dong. bell." 

(Merchant of Venice, III , 2.) 

This is said to have been written in 1597. 
Every one knows that " Fancy" here means 
" Love." Now, among the Latin poems of 
George Buchanan, who died in 1582, the follow- 
ing lines occur : 

" Amor 

" Quis puer ales ? Amor. Genitor quis ? Blandus ocelli 
Ardor, Quo natus tempore? Verenovo? 
Quis locus excepit? Generosi pectoris aula, 
Quae nutrix? Primo fiore juventa decens." 

" Non metuit mortem ? Xon. Quare? Faep5 renasci, 

Saepe mori decies hunc brevis hora videt." 
This is at least a remarkable parallelism. 

T. H. P. 
A beautiful little sepulchral urn, in the pos- 
session of a gentleman in my neighbourhood, at- 
tracted my attention from the circumstance of 
having curves and bands on its bottom and sides 
arranged in threes. Another urn, figured at page 
179 of Dr. Wilde's Catalogue of the Royal Irish 
Academy's Museum has "nine sets of upright 
marks each containing three cross-barred eleva- 
tions." Another in p. 177, (fig. 126.) has "tfiret 
sets of leaf-like marks," and the bands of orna- 
ments on figures 125, 127, and 128 seem also to 
be three in each. If this peculiarity should be 
found in any other cases, it might point to some 
veneration in remote times for the number three 
and its multiples. Some very curious observa- 
tions on the sanctity of the number tivelve among 
the old Irish, may be seen in the Xotes by the 
Hon. A. Herbert, to the Irish copy of Nennius, 
published by the Irish Archajological Society, at 
page 112. T. H. P. 


Aesar. [Queries, vol. 5, p. 351.] Professor 
Pictet, of Geneva, in remarking on the impro- 
bability of this word being compounded of aes 
and fear, i.e., " man of age," says it is not likely 
suck an epithet would be applied to the Deity. 
Now, in colloquial Irish, I have more than once 
heard the word fear, "man," used when speak- 
ing of God, but evidently in the general sense 

of " individual" or "person." Thus, in reph' 
to the common salutation, " Go m-beannuigh 
Dia dhuit," (God bless you,) I have received the 
reply, " Go m-bcannuigh an fear ceadna dhuit- 
se," (may the same person [man] bless you also ;) 
showing that the Irish-speaking people do not 
consider the word as applied to human beings 
alone, or that the epithet is in any way deroga- 


toiy. There are, perhaps, no people on the face 
of the globe, who (in their native language) 
Bpeak more respectfully and deferentially of the 
Supreme Being. 

This use of the word fear, however, is by no 
means modern : Ave meet with many examples 
of it in our old Irish MSS. I shall just refer 
to oue of these, an ancient poem entitled 
Caoiclh Oisin a n-diaigh na Feinne, [the Lamen- 
tation of Ossian after the Fenians], which was 
printed last year, by the Ossianic Society. At 
page 256, we have 

A deir se gar mdr an fear e Dia, 
"He says that God is a great Man." 
And at page 276 : 
Go d-tiubhrair gradh don f hear shuas, 
"That thou wilt bestow love on the Man above," 
i.e., God. Even in the Xew Testament we have 
the word "man" directly applied to the Divi- 
nity : "The first man is of the earth, earthy; 
the second man is the Lord from heaven." 
[1 Corinthians, xv. 47.] Ollamii Fodhxa. 

Aesar. I never met with the word Acsar in 
any Irish book or ]\IS. ; and 1 believe it to be 
one of the many Irish words forged or imagined 
by Vallancey. He inferred it from the story in 
Suetonius, and thought it might signify aes-fhear, 
i.e. " tetatum vir," " oevorum vir, " or "virscceu- 
lorum." It may have existed in the original 
Celtic of Gaul; but I do not believe that we ever 
used it in the " Island of Saints." We had the 
word Daileath [genitive Duilemhan,) to signify the 
Creator or Arranger of the Elements; and various 
other words to denote the Eternal Being, besides 
Dia, our present word, which is cognate with 
the Sanskrit dgiia, the Latin Dean, and the Greek 
0eo;. J. O'DoNOVAX. 

To Strike a Bargain. [Queries, vol. 5, p. 
258.] Compare the following passages : 
Proverbs, xi., 15. " He that hateth those that 

strike hands is sure." 
Proverbs, xxv., 26. "Be not thou one of them 
that strike hands, or of them that are sureties 
for debts." 
" Ere I could make thee open thy white hand 

And class thyself my love : then did'st thou utter 

I am yours for ever" 

Shakespeare 1 8 Winter's Tale, Act 1. s. 2. 

[Xote by Stevens. " She opened her hand, to 
elaj) the palm of it in his, as people do when they 
confirm a bargain. Hence the phrase " to clap 
up a bargain," i.e. to make one witli no other 
ceremony than the junction of hands."] 

If Q. Q. had seen our country-people bargain- 
ing at a fair, he would have had a practical illus- 
tration of this. The buyer puts a piece of money 
into the seller's open hand, names the price, and, 
if it be accepted, claps his hand on it with aloud 
slap. If rejected, he removes it till he makes a 
better offer. T. H. P. 

"Go to Pot." [Queries, vol. 5, p. ;>52.] 1 
think your correspondent, SiiEJirs, might find 
an answer to his query about " going to pot," 
in the Greek word -&-a&j "fate, destiny, or 
death." J. F. 

"Goto Pot." 1 cannot say whether it throws 
any light on this strange expression, but it is, 
at all events, curious, that in Latin orens signi- 
fies '' hell," and urea, " a pot." Qutsquis. 

Go to Lor. 1. In one of the editions of Joe 
Miller, there is a story of a tailor who lived near 
a church-yard, and it is said that whenever a 
funeral passed his window, he threw a stone or 
pea into a pot beside him, to keep reckoning, for 
his own satisfaction, of the number of funerals 


within a limited period. After the man's own 
death, a customer inquired for him, and a 
flippant shopman replied : " Oh, he's gone to 
pot, himself, now." This may actually have 
occurred; but it only proves that a passing allu- 
sion was made to a well-known idiom. 

2. The Psalmist says, (lxviii., 13:) "Though 
ye have lain among the pots, yet shall ye be as 
the wings of a dove ;" but this only contrasts 
dirtiness with cleanness, or filth with beauty 
and ornament. The passage is quoted, how- 
ever, in Carr's Glossary of Craven, [Yorkshire] 
vol. 2, p. 55, in illustration of the idiom. 

3. "We speak of " & furnace of affliction," but 
as pots were common, and furnaces not, the ex- 
pression in question came home to people better. 
There is a large number of expressions referring 
generally to misfortune, whether in connection 
with health, property, or reputation. Thus, a 
man is in " bad odour," " low water," the " black 
books," "under a cloud," "in back water," "off 
the road," "out of the world," "in Coventry," 
" down the hill," " under cover," " on his keep- 
ing," "gone to pot," in short. I think there 
is a school-boy game, in which one who is "in 
pot" is out of the play." 

4. The following quotations establish this 
sense of the word. 

" They that appertain to God, they shall in- 
herit everlasting life ; but they must go to pot, 
they must suffer here." Latimer's Sermons. 

"When the cowardly Roman soldiers allowed 
Coriolanus to be shut up alone within the walls 
of Corioli, they expected for him captivity, tor- 
ture, and death, as a matter of course. They 
all exclaim, therefore, " To Pot, I warrant 
him." Shakspeare, Coriolanus, i. 4. 

During the reign of Charles II., those who 
dreaded the accession of his brother, frequently 
indulged in the expression " to pot James must 
go." This was particularly the case in 1679, 
when the opinion was prevalent that Charles 
had been married to the Duke of Monmouth's 
mother ; and it gave point to the old story about 
the warming-pan in connection with the birth 
of the first Pretender. In this sense, the ex- 
pression "go to pot" was used in Ireland at the 
time of the Revolution, and it survives unaltered. 

A. H. 

Ixsceiptiox ix BALLiXTOYCnrKCir. [Queries, 
vol. 5, p. 351.] In reply to the inquiries of 
A.T.L., I can satisfy him that the story he men- 
tions is true, though the tomb-stone be not that 
of the child which met so premature a fate. The 
accident befel the heir of the Ballintoy estate 
about the year 1735, being seventy years later 
than the date on the tomb-stone described by 
A.T.L. I happen to possess a curious MS., con- 
taining many anecdotes of the various branches 
of the Stewart family, who settled in Ulster in the 
seventeenth century ; and from it I give the sub- 
joined extract, relating, circumstantially, the ac- 
cident referred to. The writer of the MS. was a 
contemporary and intimate friend of Sir Annesly 
Stewart, son of the lady who was the unfortu- 
nate cause of the infant's death. Mrs. Stewart 
was the daughter of the Rev. Dr. Charles Ward, 
of Mount Panther, in the county Down, and 
great-grandmother to the present Sir James 
Stewart, Part., of Fort Stewart, in the county 
Donegal. Dr. Stewart, the father of the ill-fated 
child, was succeeded by his brother's son in the 
Ballintoy estate, which is, I believe, still in that 
family ; the present owner, however, having 


some time ago assumed the name of Fullarton. 

G. S. 
" There were some remarkable occurrences in 
the life of the late Dr. Stewart of Ballintoy, 
which may be related here. He was chaplain to 
a regiment which was sent with the army under 
the command of the Earl of Peterborough, to 
Spain, in the reign of Queen Ann ; when he re- 
turned to Ireland he resided at Ballintoy, where 
he was possessed of an estate, and was presented 
to the llectory of that Parish, and afterwards 
promoted to the Chancellorship in the Diocese of 
Connor, on the death of the Rev. Jasper Brett. 
He married a Miss Vesey, of the family of Bishop 
Vcsey; they were married near twenty years be- 
fore his wife conceived of child, and was deli- 
vered of a son : being solicitous to strengthen 
the constitution of this only child of their old 
age, they had it bathed in a large vessel of cold 
water, for several mornings. Mrs. Stewart, the 
widow of Mr. Ezekiel Stewart, of Fort Stewart, 
being at Ballintoy, undertook the office of bathing 
the child ; and having dipped the child two or 
three times in the water, without sufficient in- 
termission for the child to recover his breath, he 
was wrapped in a blanket to be conveyed to the 
nursery; when the blanket was opened he was 
found dead, to the astonishment and grief of the 

R.vzoks. [Queries, vol. 5, p, 3.30.] Ccriosus 
inquires how the old Irish contrived to shave 
themselves, when they had no steel for making 
l'aznrs. There are other sharp substances which 
can be used for this purpose, as may be seen 
from the following. In an account recently pub- 
lished in La L'elf/ique Indtistrielle, 30 Aoiit, 
1857) of the island of New Caledonia, it is men- 

tioned of the natives that " lis se rasent avec 
des verres de bouteille disposes a cct effet, et cela 
avec une adresse dont nos artistes coiffeurs se 
formeront difficilement une idee !" Z. 

Surnames. [Xotes and Queries, vol. 5, p. 
2o3.] A correspondent has alluded to an Irish 
surname, derived from the name of a wild ani- 
mal. Spenser, in his View of the State of Ireland, 
(p. 107) says: "The Irish themselves report 
that the Mac-Mahons, in the North, were aun- 
ciently English, to wit, descended from the 
Tit /-Ursulas, which was a noble family, in Eng- 
land; and that the same appeareth by the signi- 
fication of their Irish name. \_Mahon being the 
Irish for "a bear," as Ursa is in Latin.] Like- 
wise that the MacSwynes, now in Ulster, were 
auncicntly of the Veres, in England, but that 
they themselves, for hatred of English, so dis- 
guised their names." Is Spenser quite correct 
in this assertion? Antiquaries. 

Tuuoavixg the SLirrF.u. [Queries, vol. 3, 
p. 254.] I am sure I once saw in a Number of 
the Jewish Intelligencer, a notice of certain Jew- 
ish superstitions in the North-West of Africa, 
mentioning among others the taking off the 
bride- groom's shoe at a wedding : and it was 
suggested that this may have had some reference 
to the custom of having the "shoe loosed" which 
is alluded to in Dent., xxv., 10. T. H. P. 

Old Nick. The Enemy of Mankind is always 
spoken of (I do not know why) as having a 
dor en foot. It seems to mc that this circumstance, 
without looking farther, furnishes a sufficient 
derivation for what is evidently (and literally 
too a niclc-munc. But can any one explain why 
the Evil One should be represented with this 
peculiarity and with horns? Quisquis. 



Has it ever occurred to any of your readers to 
consider why specimens of helmets and other 
pieces of defensive armour are so very rare in 
Irish antiquarian collections? After so many 
wars, one would expect to find many of them in 
the hogs and elsewhere. T. II. P. 

What were the hirds specified under the head 
of "game" in the old Irish Acts of Parliament, 
hy the name of " wild turkies" '? T. II. P. 

What was O ' XeilVs Stuchan named in Speed's 
map of Ulster, where a figure appears like a tall 
tower ? T. II. P. 

Can any of your correspondents inform me if 
there he such a thing published as an English- 
Irish dictionary, except IPCurtin's, which is out 
of print, and hesides is not good ? J. P. 

Can I obtain from any of your readers some 
information respecting a singular person known 
traditionally in the Antrim Glens as " the Black 
Xun of Bona-marga ?" Moxasticts. 

In reading the curious and interesting poem 
called the Circuit of Ireland, written in Irish, 
in the year 942, and published with an English 
translation in 1841 hy the Irish Archaeological 
Society, several points struck me on which I 
should feel obliged by some information. The 
poet, in speaking of Dublin, calls it Ath-eliath, 
and the Danish inhabitants Galls. Xow, is the 
latter term synonymous with our modern one 
Gaels? If not, what is the distinction, and to 
whom were the two names severally applicable ? 

If they were identical, what name did the native 
Irish give to themselves? because in applying 
the name to foreigners it was equivalent to saying 
"You are Gaels, but we are not." A few 
lines farther on the poet says : 

" A plentiful supply from an abundant store was 
given [by the Danes] 
To Muircheartach, the son of Niall, 
Of bacon, of good wheat; 

Joints of meat and fine cheese were given 

A coloured mantle for every chieftain. 
The enumeration of these articles indicates a 
considerable degree of comfort and advance in 
civilization at this period in Ireland. In a for- 
mer number in this Journal [vol. 5, p. 167] a 
correspondent inquires respecting the time when 
the cultivation of wheat was first introduced 
into Ireland. The passage in the poem above 
quoted, proves that, in the middle of the tenth 
century, the Danes, at least, were in the habit of 
cultivating it. Put was it known also among 
the native Irish themselves at that time, or was 
it introduced by these strangers ? 

Another verse in the same poem is as follows : - 
" We Avere a night at cold Aillinn, 
The sno>v came from the north-east 
Our only houses, without distinction of rank, 
Were our strong leather cloaks." 
Were these cloaks the usual costume of the 
Irish soldiers, and is there any other authority 
for the fact ? William Millex. 




It is no exaggeration to say that the desire to occupy land in Ireland has long been, "with 
Irishmen, their strongest passion. Several causes, such as are not found in other countries, com- 
bined to give this passion its force. It is out of our province and purpose to do more than allude 
to all those causes, which arc well known, and thoroughly account for the unparalleled tenacity 
with which the Irish peasantry used to cling to land. But, considering that modern Irish Tenant- 
Right is peculiarly indigenous to Ulster where it seems to have first sprung up, and where it has 
grown, in self-sustaining strength, working as a principle, with constant motive power by the 
security it confers, for much good ; and, on the other hand, unhappily, in some cases and wavs, for 
much evil, by the intimidation that, in those cases, supports it for us to enter upon the archaeology 
of this singular custom is literally within our province. By confining our remarks, as far as 
possible, to an archaic view of the subject, our antiquarian readers may possibly receive (as we hope 
and labour for) at least some gratification. Indeed, restricted as we are from discussing the subject 
of " Irish Tenant-Right" in its present aspect, with any view of considering this important topic in 
its economic bearings, we incline to fall back to times before its birth, and, by analogic digression, 
to dilate into the more general theme of the archaeology of Land Tenancy in Ulster. And we sball 
not, probably, wander much in doing so; since it cannot be doubted that the circumstances to 
which we shall refer namely, the nature of tenancy among the Gaelic Irish, and the rebellions, con- 
fiscations, and colonization of the Xorth were those which called the custom under review into 
being. Avoiding, therefore, the existing phase of the topic, our inquiry is directed to the 
parentage, birth, and early progress of this usage, winch is so special to Ulster. 

To commence with the first section of our theme, premising that the study of the laws and 
customs relating to the property of a country gives the key to comprehending her feuds and historv, 
let us briefly examine the nature of ancient Irish tenancy. 

Originally, among the Colts of Ireland, by a system which once extended from the Himalayas 
to the Atlantic, the ownership of the land of each tribe was vested in the men of the tribe, 
and there "were neither landlords nor tenants. Tenancy commenced when it became customary 
for each sept of the general tribe to render a " senior}-" to their senior. In time, this tribute 
became a "chief" rent. But it could not be increased ad lilitum, because the men of the sept 


were freemen, and heirs of the soil. They rendered tribute merely to support their chieftain 
in liia dignity. Like himself, they were patricians, descended from the same patriarch ; 
edel i.e., noble-men, whose freedom from labour was Vtf/tf-ness; and "horsemen" and "kerne," 
the warriors of the clan. The labourers were of totally separate castes, forming the clan serfs 
and plebeians. After a lapse of ages, when these latter had become, as in the 16th century, 
virtual owners of cattle, sheep, and swine, they were suffered to occupy the land as tenants 
at will, liable to have the rent raised on them ad libitum. Bearing in mind the marked dis- 
tinction between the patrician and plebeian occupiers, it must be recollected that the former were 
also no more than a species of tenants-at-will. The chieftain, even the clan, could not confer 
any term of tenancy. Any continued occupancy was, therefore, the result of a claim, or customary 
title, to possession. The temporary usufruct of certain demesnes was enjoyed by the senior and his 
tanist during their tenure of office, and they let the land by the year. The residue of the "country" 
was occupied by junior septs, whose possession, owing to changes sometimes induced by various 
causes, was practically insecure. This absence of legal fixity of tenure prevented the erection 
of substantial dwellings. The portion of an Irish sept styled a creaght was as nomad as an ancient 
Scythian horde. This sort of sept, peculiar to Ulster, was a community of relatives, to whom 
almost all was in common, and named in Gaelic "herdsmen of cattle," cows being, save their 
scanty clothing, almost their sole property. Their few wants were easily supplied, so far as 
lodging was concerned, by the use of such hovels as they found about the country. Even their 
chiefs lived either in the ruins of castles erected by the first Norman invaders, or in houses 
little better than cabins, or in the woods. Central Ulster was a wilderness under the rule of 
the last O'Neill. Eastern Ulster would have been little else, had it been entirely under the swords 
of the clan Hugh-buoy O'Neill, whose bards were wont to lament the usurpation, by the English, of 
much of the territory of the clan, and the consequent "disfigurement of ramparts and frightful 
towers on lands never before taken away from the support of men and animals. " a "What would 
those old Irish poets of Clandeboyc, who ignored the use of " improvements," have said about the tall 
and smoking fabrics which are now the glory of Belfast ? They would have found these monuments 
of civilization as distasteful as a Scottish tenant's steam-engine and agricultural machinery used to 
be deemed in Tipperary. 

Although it is impossible to believe that change of occupancy among Gaelic clansmen, who 
were joint owners and occupiers, was frequent, yet their pastoral habits rendered removal easy. 
^\ riling from the site of Enniskillen, Attorney-General Davys declared that there was not a 
single village in the entire county; so " wild and transitory" was the life of the people. It is 
not easy to reconcile this statement with another in the same letter, that in the shire of Monaghan 
" almost every acre" had a separate owner, who termed himself " a lord, and his portion of land his 

a (/Conor's Dissertation, 62. 


country." b "We imagine the truth to be that as, under tanistry, the occupancies of tenants were 
more long-lived than the tenure of a chieftain, the former, when agricultural, gradually obtained 
a traditional right, which became the Irish " copy-hold," transferable interest, or "tenant-right." 
The insecurity that would have resulted from a full operation of gavelkind and tanistiy, with all 
their effects, must have been seen to be so pernicious (for, under it, men and their families must 
have been shifted like sheep,) that even ancient Celtic human nature revolted against it, and was 
constantly endeavouring to obtain that permanence of tenure which modern Irish farmers so naturally 
desire. The claim given by some duration of occupancy became gradually recognised. If we give 
credence to native authorities, many occupiers of land enjoyed a right equivalent to copy-hold ; if 
to foreign, the general tenantry were always liable to dispossession. Both statements maj r be 
correct ; since an actual permanence of occupation may have existed, as in the present day, without 
any legal security. Indeed, the Irish tenant seems always to have retained his power to 
remove, and yet to have held on (as Sir Henry Piers states) under a mere verbal tenure, satisfied 
therewith, and averse, like Jack Cade, to parchment and wax. The uncertainty and certainty of his 
tenure were much the same as now. No written demise or lease was, or could be, made ; and the 
chieftain was able to dispossess any unfortunates who had lost their stock by a raid. Still, that 
undefined but cogent claim of usufructuary possession, which humanity has ever acknowledged, 
was in force under the patriarchal rule of clanship ; and the effect of these two influences was 
that, generally speaking, the inferior septs, or families, continued to dwell on their forefathers' land. 
It has been asserted that a certain condition of continuous occupancy gave, under Gaelic usage, 
a tenant-right; or, to speak accurately, that by Brchon law, or custom, "occupation under three 
successive generations made the fourth tenant proprietor." This assertion, which we quote from 
the Dublin University Magazine for April, 1848, is somewhat borne out by a passage in one of those 
curious memoranda papers, d compiled by Dr. Hanmer at the time he was inditing his work on 
Ireland, and in which, under the head of "'Mores Gentium," he lias recorded many traits of the 
Irish of his time. We find in it the following sentence, characteristic of the conduct of the natives 
in respect to the point under view: " Set them a far me, the grandfather, father, son, and the g 
iiayme it as their oicne ; if not, they goe to rebellion.'" A similar claim, or title, and closer in 
resemblance than that which we shall presently quote from the Brehon laws, is to he found set forth 
in the Gwcntian code of Wales, published in the Leges JJ'allie<c, viz. : 

"Dudenhudd" [a proprietorship] "is the tilling by a person of land tilled by his father before 
him. In the fourth degree a person becomes a proprietor his father, his grandfather, and his 
great-grandfather, and he himself the fourth." 

This ancient British custom, which was perhaps imported by the Celts into Ireland, was doubtless, 
as observed by the writer of the above-mentioned article in the Dublin University Magazine, the origin 
>' Davys, in Vallanccy, I. c Vallancey. I. a S. P. O 


of " copy-hold" tenure ; and exists to this day, as that writer believes, in a modified form, in parts 
of Cumberland. The passage from the Brehon code, also quoted in that article, is as follows : 

" All lands are bound, when by three lords they are set i.e., his lands are bound from a person 
when he has fairly set them out during the time of three. . . . The land shall belong to the 
man who grazes it, who takes off its sweet herbage, during the time of three, he having its posses- 
sion during that term." 

It is likely that a permanent proprietorship, given by Cumbrian custom, is the origin of those 
small estates owned by "statesmen" around the Lakes, whose strong attachment to their little 
properties is warmly noticed by Wordsworth. In a somewhat inconclusive Essay on the Tenant- 
Jliyht of Ulster, Mr. Hancock, formerly professor of Political Economy in Belfast, quotes the 
following account of tenant-right as it exists on a church estate in Cumberland : " In the manor 
of Linstock, ichich is the property of the see of Carlisle, the custom of tenure is that termed tenant- 
right. The freehold of the customary tenements is in the lord ; the tenant holds to him, his heirs 
and assigns for ever, of the lord, according to the custom of the manor, under fixed customary rents, 
and performing certain customary duties and services, the tenements descending, and being de- 
scendible, from the ancestor to the heir, as of the hereditary right of the tenants, called tenant- 

So lenient were the Brehon laws in their criminal code, and so equitable and minute in 
their provisions respecting matters of property, that we may well believe it will appear, on the 
publication of these laws, that custom, having the force of law, and so enforced as to have been 
included among written provisions, raised some shield of prescriptive claim over families that could 
boast a long occupancy. It was declared of the Irish, on good authority, that no nation in the 
Christian Avorld were greater lovers of justice which virtue, as Lord Coke generously ob- 
serves, must of necessity be accompanied by many others. So we may reasonably conjecture that 
hucccssive chieftains frequently allowed their kinsmen to continue in undisturbed occupancy, under 
easy rents; especially when we know that modern landlords, who are neither kith nor kin to their 
tenantry, honourably and willingly recognise a similar right, if sanctioned by length of tenancy, or 
required by the claims of industry. 

Other causes operated to confer a prescriptive right on Gaelic tenants. In fact, several pecu- 
liarities of Irish occupancy combined to form the national idea of a right to a cheap and permanent 
tenure of the land. Sonic castes and professions held their patrimonies in permanence, subject only 
either to a fixed rent, or to professional services. Under this latter category were ranked the nu- 
merous septs of galloglasses, bards, &c. The extent and peculiar ownership of Church lands con- 
tributed more than any other combination of circumstances to establish fixity of tenure. Bishop 
Montgomery designates see lands as "copy-hold," (strictly speaking, unknown here,) or eensualcs terra. 
subject to a mere nominal rent, or "antiquum cension." As he observed, the lands belonging to 


the bishoprics of Ulster were scattered throughout the province, being in the vicinity of the churches, 
" much after the distribution of the Levites' portion among the rest of the tribes." Besides the 
effect of permanency on these estates, their example was wide-spread and congenial. It would 
seem that, anciently, the tenancy of herenachs, who were hereditary occupiers of church lands, re- 
sembled that of adscripti glebce ; and that, like the Roman villani, who by thirty years' possession 
became coloni liheri, they became permanent free tenants. 6 In warlike Ulster, agriculture was, it 
is likely, confined to ecclesiastical lands ; the county of Armagh, now the scat of the primate, and 
in ancient times largely owned by the church, is, at present, the shire in which tenant-right pre- 
vails to the fullest extent ; and it is probable that custom endowed church tenants with a fixity 
that neither bishop nor chieftain, who could not bind their successors, could legally give. 

The account given by Caesar of the mode of creating tenancy among the Germans applies exactly 
to the system pursued among the Irish fifteen hundred years afterwards. He describes them as 
no practisers of agriculture, but subsisting, for the most part, on milk, cheese, and ficsb. " No one 
among them had any particular land assigned to him, nor limits within which he could call it his 
own ; but the leader, or chief, assembled the various septs eacli year, and applottcd land in such 
portions and places as was seen fit; and, in the year following, compelled them to remove to a 
different quarter." This condition must have necessitated an almost unvarying state of pasturage. 
In Ireland, where this barbarous state of things continued until the reign of the Stuarts, it was 
customary for the heads of creaght communities to bargain for a year's grass for Iheir herd of cattle 
every May-day. f During their pasturing progress over the unenclosed portions of the country, 
which they obtained a right to graze on by payment of so much per head, they used for shelter what- 
ever shealings they found. Sir "William Petty observes that Irish cabins could be built in three days, 
and were held of the superior from May to May. " They hold" (writes Sir Henry Piers, so late as 
1682) "but from year to year, nor do they desire a longer term." Under such tenure, there could 
be little attention to agriculture, and hardly any to such improvements as would entitle a tenant 
to claim a permanent interest. 

Sir Henry Piers' description of the native farmers of his day is so curious and graphic, that the 
following extracts from his account arc worth quoting : 

" As to the inferior rank of husbandmen, called sculloge*, (which may he Englished farmer or 
husbandman, or yet more properly, boors,) they are generally very crafty and subtile in all manner 
of bargaining. . . . Every townland held by them is grazed in common. . . . They have 
a custom, on a stated day every year, to come and give warning to their landlord to provide other 
tenants for their holdings and houses, and this they will do as formally as if they were in earnest; 
and yet after all they intend nothing less, for they will not leave the place with their good trill, where 
they and their ancestors have sat. In this case, you shall have some of them tell their landlord, 
that they and their forefathers have been there as long, and perhaps longer, than he, and they will 

c Archbishop Usshcr on Corbes, &c KiO!>. f Collins, I. !)7, 


not out for him ; whither shall they go? and the like stuff: and this their shyness of leaving their 
antient habitations is not without some cause. For if one of them remove, but to dwell in the next 
county, nav, the next parish, provided it be under another landlord, he is on every little pique with 
his neighbour reproached with terms importing vagabond, or forsaken outcast, &c. ; and so keen 
is his anima redeundi, that he is not at ease within himself till he make way for his return again to 
the place, as he phrases it, where he ought to be: 

Nescio qua natale solum dulcedine cunctos 
Tangit, et immemores non sinet esse sui." 

Greatly as the free spirit of adventure and self-reliance, which leads the Englishman to seek a live- 
lihood in any quarter of the globe, is to be admired, we confess we sympathise fully in that strong 
sentimental affection which the Irish peasantry evince for their homes, kinsfolk, friends, and 
father-land. Much that might pass under the review of an Irish archaeologist has, doubtless, con- 
tributed to foster the growth of this national feeling. But the theme is apart from our present 
object. Let us, however, not altogether pass it over; and notice, at least, one evident archaic 
peculiarity of the national mind viz., that it was never clear to the Irish understanding that land 
could be lost. Were the country conquered and confiscated, it might be reconquered. ISo men, or 
combination of men, could justly sell an acre of the clan-land. Whatever interest an occupier had, 
it is questionable if he could have sold it ; and, certainly, he could only forfeit his own interest 
without affecting that of his relatives. Under the similar law of Kentish gavelkind, the father 
paid, according to the old rhyme, the penalty of his " bond," but his sons inherited the "lond;" 
and though he might be hanged on "the bough," they returned "to the plough." Treason to the 
Ion], under the feudal system, caused the fief to be forfeited. But clanship acknowledged neither 
fiefs nor lords. Conquest might have been felt and understood by the Gaelic Irish, but forfeiture 
was ignored by them. A successful insurrection, a great political revolution, might, they thought, 
at any time, restore what they had lost. In the national idea that land was inalienable, we dis- 
cover the origin of those pretensions to estates and rank which indued the character of an "Irish 
gentleman" with the ludicrous assumption so humorously delineated by old novelists and play- 
wrights. The sons of the former chieftains and proprietors, who had been ousted by violent 
transfers, ever looked ardently, while brooding over their losses, to be reinstated by some political 
movement. Often did this repressed feeling of having suffered spoliation burst into a flame; and 
we do not over-rate its lasting strength in believing that its ashes, spread over Ireland, are far from 
bfing extinguished. Let us, in archseologic fashion, look back, and, in evidence of the national 
persuasion at one period, quote Dr. King, who, writing in bitter triumph after the success of the 
Revolution, observes : " It is the humour of this people to count an estate their own, though they 
have sold it, or been legally turned out; so that they reckon every estate theirs that either they 
or their ancestors had at any time in their possession." 

-Naturally, the farming colonists of Ireland ever were, to many intents and purposes, in an 


enemy's country. This view of their condition, in their relation to the ancient and dispossessed 
occupiers, is obviously even more true of the Protestants who settled in Ulster in and after the 1 7th 
century, than of Strongbow's yeomen archers, or Cromwell's musketeers. Without pausing to trace 
the vicissitudes which the general Saxon settlement underwent from the epoch of the first invasion, 
we may notice the characteristic manner in which those half-subjugated natives, who continued to 
dwell among the colonists, swelled in numbers, gradually intruded themselves into an almost uni- 
versal occupancy of the land, and, at last, by perverting their degenerate masters, the lords of the 
land, to Irish usages and manners, so metamorphosed feudal peers into independent chiefs as to 
undermine and peril the English interest and power. Lease-hold, that honest and fruitful security 
of tenure, which, conjoined in England with the hereditary feudal good feeling between landlord 
and tenant, has so powerfully " contributed" (in the words of Adam Smith) " to the grandeur of 
England," was transplanted to flourish in Irish soil at the earliest possible period. But it was 
always regarded by the natives (so we believe) as a foreign and uncongenial tenure, with which, 
particularly in early ages, they were unacquainted ; which, in their mind, was fraught with written 
legal restrictions; and the close of which threatened rise of rent, or eviction. "We could adduce 
several proofs that the English yeomanry of the Pale held their farms by the sound security of 
leases. Indeed, it cannot be thought that, when conquered Ireland was granted by the Crown in 
vast fiefs to Strongbow and other royal barons, to be held by them and their heirs " in hereditary 
descent for ever," (so it is expressed in their charters,) and when these lords allotted subordinate 
estates to their companions in arms, the knights and esquires who had partaken in the valiant 
enterprise, it cannot be thought, we repeat, that these nobles, knights, frankleins, and squire's, 
whose own claims had been so amply rewarded, forgot the still stronger claims of their brave 
yeomen, (those English archers who, as Cambrensis declares, surpassed the Norman chivalry 
in their services in the conquest,) but that they established their stout and trusty supporters in firm 
tenancy of the land around every newly-erected castle, which was to be guarded by their 
valour, and maintained by their industry. But, in the meanwhile, numbers of the lower orders 
of the Gael, such as some original cultivators and graziers of the soil, and such as had been en- 
slaved by the conquerors, continued to occupy large portions of the Pale, under (as it seems,) the 
terms of ancient Gaelic tenure; for by a remarkable clause in the compact between Henry II. 
and Roderick, monarch of Ireland, it was expressly provided that such Celtic tenants as had fled 
before the conquerors, but might please to return into tho Pale to live under the new lords, should 
pay the ancient services to which they were accustomed. The banners of the Normans had not 
been followed by a force adequate cither to the complete reduction of the country, or to its pacific 
occupation; and consequently, during succeeding centuries, tho strength of the Englishry was 
wasted by the native enemies in the mountain regions, whose raids and devastations gave fortress 
and farm-house alike to the flames. For the lepair, or reconstruction of the castle, the nobleman 


could summon his tenantry, and compel their assistance ; but to rebuild and replenish the more im- 
portant farm steadings was a more difficult task. Again, while the feudal peer was bound by strong 
ties of interest to the country, the freeholder, " all his gear gone," must either migrate, or com- 
pete against the offers of Gaelic serfs to hold his farm according to their custom of tenancy. And 
his lord, now changing into the leader of a border family, preferred the ready submission of 
mere tenants-at-will, to the sturdy independence of lease -holders. So soon developed and con- 
tagious was the temptation to substitute the native tenure for lease-hold, that it is recorded of an 
Anglo-Xormau archbishop of Dublin, Henry of London (one of those great men by whose advice 
Magna Charta was granted), that he acquired the nickname of "scorch-villein" from having in- 
veigled the tenantry of the see into showing him their leases, and then seizing these documents, 
and throwing them into the fire ! The gradual extirpation of the English yeomanry of the 
Pale is distinctly traceable in our national records. Even the higher nobility, whose frail hold on 
this narrowed territory depended mainly on the loyalty of the descendants of the men-at-arms 
who had conquered under the flags of Do Clare, De Lacy, and Eitz Gerald, completed this ex- 
tinction iu the 15th century, when the English power sank to its lowest ebb, by letting their lands 
to "Irishry," who (in the words of a contemporary record), " by living hardlie, and without victuals, 
in penury and wretchedness," were able to render a larger share of the produce to the lord of 
the soil than the Saxon yeoman could have paid, without reducing himself and family to their 
miserable level. s Assuredly, whenever these yeomen, to meet that competition, descended in the 
scale of civilization, their landlord partook of their degradation; and, moreover, so far as he 
was affected by the manners of his Gaelic followers and companions, he lost caste and na- 
tionality by his degeneracy; since castle walls can no more keep out the influence of the habits and 
manners of the lower ranks, who minister in a hundred forms to the domestic needs of the inmates, 
than those walls can exclude the infection of epidemics. When the estate of a Gcraldine or De 
Lurgh became crowded with kerne, creaglrfs, and betaghs, who held at his mere will, and rendered 
to him all that was usually rendered to an O'llourkc or an O'Elaherty, they proved as ready to 
follow him in war as if he were their ceann-kine, lineally descended from Conn of the Hundred 
J Sat tics. " Like master like man" is a true proverb in the reverse sense; and when "silken Thomas," 
Lord Fitzgerald, backed by a mob of Celtic enthusiasts, revolted, both English master and Irish 
man performed parts that may be; likened to those in the play: "Enter Tilburina mad, in dirty 
white satin, and her maid, mad, in dirty white linen." 

1 he natural antipathy of race which subsisted between the natives and the colonists, and which 
must have considerably impeded the peaceful cultivation of the land, requires and merits our 
arcluoologic notice. Besides the invariable hatred between Gael and Saxon, every new-comer, or 

s The gradual 'degeneracy of the Pale is admirably treated of by the Rev- Richard Butler, in the Irish 
Arch- Society's publications, edited by him. 


"stranger," from England or Scotland experienced a fnll measure of that jealousy and dislike 
felt by the natives of a semi-civilised country towards incomers more advanced in civilization 
than themselves. Such of the aliens as were farmers, bent on obtaining their living on Irish 
soil, were inevitably odious to the natives they competed with, or displaced. During mediaeval 
times, the few English who ventured over to colonise the Pale were stigmatised as English "hobbes," 
i.e. clowns, by the old colonists, who, themselves, were ridiculed by the new Saxons as Irish "dogs." h 
Native wit was never at a loss in satire ; a weapon easily wielded against a class that in Ireland 
has always found great difficulties in rising. The Irish Secretary of State, Avriting in 1584, recom- 
mended that the use of the epithet " churle" should be abandoned, and that the English terms, 
"husbandman," "franklein," and "yeoman," should be used instead.' A foreign tenn, however, 
was not to be transplanted into the national mouth, when the national mind was inclined to eradicate 
the foreign thing itself. With respect to the archaeology of the crime of murder in revenge for dis- 
possession a crime peculiar to Ireland few instances of it are to be found in all our sources of in- 
formation. There can be little doubt, however, that the Brehon law of eric, or the fine for shedding 
human blood, was frequently the avenger, and sole avenger, of such offences in early days, when 
they were little remarked, because occurring among the native race. Under the year' 1443, the 
annalist Firbis notices the murder of an abbot in the county of Sligo, by his own kinsmen, for 
having taken certain hereditary lands from them. j John Dymmock, writing in 1599, after describing 
the virtues of the Irish, their generous hospitality, quick wit, kindliness of heart, and strong natural 
affection, observes that they "are secret in displeasure, of a cruel revenging mind, and irreconcilc- 
able." There is certainly enough in the history of their gradual subjugation to account for^ their 
antipathy to their conquerors. Our archooologic readers may perhaps remember Story's statement 
that, during the rebellion of 1G88, cattle were ludicrously put on trial by the rebels, and slaughtered, 
because they could not plead denizenation, in the same spirit that has, within this year, filled the 
bog-holes of Gweedore, in Donegal, with the carcasses of sheep belonging to " stranger" tenants. 

Lease-hold security is of too modern a date in Ulster to come within our present notice, further 
than to observe that, as " tenant-right" is its substitute, we arc curious to ascertain whether the 
latter usage has, in many instances, supplanted that more satisfactory mode of letting land. In modern 
times, a large class of tenants obviously prefer to hold land free from the restrictions and liabilities 
of leases, More anciently, such restrictions were unknown; for the economy of the relation of 
landlord and tenant was not understood; it not being deemed essential that the occupier should be re- 
stricted from deteriorating the soil. But, doubtless, the need for lease diold security must have 
been constantly and paralysing!}- felt. In a letter, dated 1594, a law officer of the crown in 
Minister recommends that the nobility and landlords of the country he ordered to make leases of 

'' State Paper Office, ' Statute of Kilkenny. 

i Irish Arch Miscoll 2"2. 


their lands for twenty-one years, or three lives, instead of for three years, as is the practiced The 
improvements effected in the Lowlands of Scotland, and the excellent system of farming pursued 
there, have been traced, in a great degree, to the customary leases for nineteen years; a term found 
adequate to compensate the tenant for most improvements he may effect, excepting building, 
which indeed, with all permanent improvements, should be undertaken by the owner of the soil. 
Edmond Spenser speaks of the absence of security of tenure among the Irish farmers ; yet, as we 
conceive, his statement is applicable rather to the tenantry who lived under the Anglo-Irish barons, 
than to the occupiers of Gaelic countries. He writes : 

" The lords of land do not use to set out their land in farm, or for term of years, but only from 
year to year, and some during pleasure. JNeither, indeed, will the Irish tenant or husbandman 
otherwise take his land than so long as he list himself : the reason hereof in the tenant is, for that 
the landlords there use most shamefully to rack their tenants, laying upon them coigny and livery 
at pleasure, and exacting of them, beside their covenants, what he pleaseth : so that the poor hus- 
bandman either dare not bind himself to him for longer term, or thinketh, by his continual liberty 
of change, to keep his landlord rather in awe from wronging of him." 

It seems, then, that the intimidation practised by the tenantry of those days consisted in 
threatening to remove with their flocks and herds, or floating capital. This right was, of course, 
theirs, and is incapable of abuse. Unstable as Gaelic tenancy appears to have been, we believe 
that it was, in effect, more durable than tenures which had the legal security of leases ; just as, in 
modern times, Irish tenants actually enjoy a more continuous possession than is general in the well- 
cultivated parts of England. Every Englishman in Ireland saw that the tenure of the Irish occu- 
piers was deficient in written legal security ; but became significantly cognisant of the real nature 
of the security whenever he attempted to break the occupancy. 

Continuing our retrospective review of the nature of tenancy among the Irish people, we will 
string together a few original passages bearing on the subject, being some curious excerpta from the 
valuable correspondence preserved in the State Paper Office. 

In the year 1625, an Anglo-Irish landlord of the Pale, Mr. Eustace, of Clongowes-wood, de- 
clared, in a paper drawn up for the government, that " Old O'jSeil" (as he styles Hugh, Earl of 
Tyrone) " had been behated in his country," on account of his " tyranny among his own in the 
]S"orth ; because most commonly none of the common sort could eat a bit of their own butter, being 
almost their only food, for that he took all ; moreover, none of the best sort could be, or was, sure 
of the land he had this year for the next year." 1 These latter were manifestly the ceann-fines, heads 
of septs, or free tenants, who were removable whenever a repartition of the country was made ; 
while the " common sort" were of plebeian extraction. Mr. Eustace's statement is probably true 
enough ; but it must be recollected that O'Xeill was prosecuting a desperate defence of his country 

k State Paper Office, 26th April, 1694. Justice Saxey- i State Paper Office. 


and clan against the tremendous power of the English crown. Unfortunately, it is the lot of 
archaeologists, in their inquiry after old truths, to find themselves frequently stripping history of 
much that gi^es it the charm of romance. But dicat verum, ruat caelum ! is their maxim. Sir John 
Davis writes to Lord Salisbury (19th April, 1604), that the Earl of Tyrone is seeking an 
order from Government " to have all such tenants as formerly dwelt in his country hut are now 
fled into the Pale and other places, to avoid his extreme cutting and extortion, to be returned unto 
him by compulsion, albeit these tenants had rather be strangled than returned unto him, for he 
will be maister both of their bodies and goods, and excercise a greater tyranny now than he would 
have done if they had never departed ; and yet it is certen that these tenants are not his bondmen 
and villayncs, but the king's free subjects; for himself confesseth that, if they had given him a 
quarter or six months warning, they might have departed lawfully, which, if they were bondmen 
and villaynes, they could not doo. I know this demand of his is not agreable with the law of 
England, which is in force here ; neither standeth it (under reformation) with reason of state or 
policy that he should have such an interest in the bodies of the king's subjects ; for this usurpation 
uppou the bodies and persons of men made him able to make warr against the state of England, 
and made his barbarous followers to think they had no other king than Tirone, by cause their lives 
and their goods depended upon his will : and certainly such tenants at will did enable the Earle 
of Warwick, in the time of King Henry VI., and the great lords in the time of the Barons' warres, 
to raise so great a multitude of men ; whereas at this day, if any of your great lords of England 
should have a mind to stand uppon their guard, well may they have some of their household ser- 
vants or retayners, but as for their tenants, which have good leases for lives and leases for years, 
or being but copyholders, seeing that by the law at this day they may bring an action of tresspass 
against their lords if they dispossess them without cause of forfeiture, these fellows will not hazard 
the losing of all their sheep, their oxen, and their corne, and the undoing of themselves, their wives, 
and their children, for the love of the best landlord that is in England."" 1 

Our next extract is from Sir Tobias Caulfield's Accompt" for the escheated estates of the Earl, 
in which the accountant describes the manner among the Irish of charging rents and duties, as 
follows : 

" First There was no certain portion of land sett by the traitor Tyrone to any of his tenants that 
paid him rents. 

" Secondly Such rents as he reserved were paid to him partly in money and partly in provi- 
sions, as oats, oatmeal, butter, hogs, and muttons. 

"Thirdly The money rents that were so reserved were chargeable on all the cows that were 
milch or in calf which grazed on his lands after the rate of 7d. ^ seven pence) a quarter le year, 
which cows were to be numbered but twice in the year by Tirone's officers viz. : at May and Hol- 
lonticle, and so the rents were levied and taken up at the said rate for all the cows that were so 

State Pup r Offi ;e. n Lately priuted by the Kilkenny Arch- Society. 


numbered, except only the heads and principal men of the crcaghts, who in regard of their enabling 
to live better than the common multitude under them whom they caused willingly to pay the said 
rent were usually allowed as folio weth ; parte of the whole rents which rise to 700 Irish a year, 
or thereabouts, communibus minis, which they retained in their own hands by directions from the 
Lord Deputy, and so was never received; and for the butter and other victualling provisions they 
were only paid by such as they termed horsemen, called the Quinns, Hagans, Connelans, and 
Devlins, which were rather at the discretion of the givers, who strove who should give most to 
gain Tirone's favour, than for any due claim he had to demand the same. 

" Fourthly All those cows for which those rents are to be levied must be counted at one day 

in the whole country, which requires much travel and labour, and many men to be put in trust 
with that account, so as that country, which is replenished with woods, doe greatly advantage the 
tenants that are to paie their rents to rid away their cows from that reckoning, and also to such 
overseers to be corrupted by the tenants to mitigate their rents, by lessening the true number of 
their cattle, which must needs be conceived they will all endeavour to the uttermost, being men as 
it were without conscience, and of poor estate, apt to be corrupted for such bribes, which they may 
the more casilv do in regard that the bordering Lords adjoining are ready to shelter their cows that 
should pay those rents, whereby they may gain those tenants to live nnder them. 

" Fifthly This rent is uncertain, because by the custom of the country the tenants may remove 
from one Lord to another every half-year as usually they do, which custom is allowed by authority 
from the State." 

We consider this document as valuable from its disclosing, in a few sentences, the entire economy 
of " estate management," as it subsisted under the rule of " O'Neill;" depicting a nomade pas- 
toral life, such as the Scythians followed, and Horace seems to have envied ; but utterly differing 
from the fixity of tenure on the small farms, assiduously cultivated, of the present day. 

Lord Deputy Chichester, writing, in 1610, to the King, as to the difficulties of the " Plantation" 
in Lister, especially in inducing the natives to abandon their old manners, and their rude way of 
living as creaghts (or wandering graziers), instead of in fixed homesteads, says that " to live by 
their labour and industry on small portions of land, as farms, by fencing, stocking, and manuring 
it with goods of their own, is as grievous to them as to be made bond-slaves." The progress of time 
and circumstances worked a radical change in this respect ; but we may well conceive that perma- 
nent improvements on farms, which endowed the families that had made them with a just claim to 
sell their interests, were effected far more largely by the colonists than by the natives. 

Referring back to Sir H. Piers' details as to the repugnance of Gaelic tenants to remove, we will 
now quote a statement to the opposite effect ; and can only reconcile the two by supposing that 
either there was less competition when the latter statement was written, or that the wish was 
father to it. 

Sir William Brereton, a Cheshire gentleman who made a tour in the eastern parts of this 
kingdom, in the year 163.5, in bootless quest of a farm, describes the tenantry of the country 
as holding but from year to year, and, instead of paying money rent, rendering every third sheaf of 

o State Paper Office. 


corn to the landlord. He observes that, in consequence of this, the soil was " overtilled, and 
much wronged" " slothfully and improvidently ordered, much impaired, and yielding much less 
than if well husbanded." His concluding observation is very remarkable. "But," he declares, 
"these unprofitable commodities" (the tenants) "maybe removed at pleasure, and without any 
manner of inconvenience, exclamation, or exception." 9 "We suspect that removals were not frequent, 
and arc sure that there was ample room for the removed when such changes were made. Brereton's 
statement, however, is a notable evidence of the different feeling of the peasantry of those times on 
occasion of ejectment. 

Kecurring to Ulster, the following passage from Sir John Davy's Biscoverie, demonstrates that 
government commissioners recognised the ancient right of occupancy vested in clansmen, to the 
extent of making the actual tenants freeholders, subject only to fixed rents. Sir John says that 
the commissioners for giving real estates to the chieftains did not, after examining into the 
ancient dues of tenancy, grant to each chief the entire country, because it belonged to the clansmen; 
but only those lands which were found in the chieftain's possession, being demesne-lands, and 
" those certain sums of money, as rents, issuing out of the rest ;" but the land found in the tenants' 
possession was left unto them, " charged with those certain rents only." These "tenants" were not, 
of course, the inferior husbandmen, but the highest caste, the junior clansmen, who were now 
erected into a permanent landed proprietory. Peter Heylin, an Englishman, writing, in 1621, of 
the reformation effected by the Plantation Commissioners in the mode of letting land in Ulster, 
bears testimony to its effects in producing those improvements which are, by some, supposed to 
have formed the original claim to sell the occupancy. He says : 

" Whereas there was before but one freeholder in a whole county, which was the lord" (chief- 
tain) "himself, the rest holding in villenage, and being subject to his immeasurable taxation, 
whereby they had no encouragement to build or plant, now the lord's estate was divided into two 
parts; that which beheld in demesne to himself, which was still left unto him, and that which 
was in the hands of his tenants, who had estates made in their possessions according to the common 
law of England, paying instead of uncurtain Irish taxations, certain English rents ; whereby the 
people have since set their minds upon repairing their houses and manuring their lands, to the 
great increase of the private and publiquc revenue."' 1 

Whatever may have been the security or insecurity of Gaelic tenure, we shall presently see that 
some of the new British tenants felt such confidence in their new landlords, the London Companies, 
as to be induced to build on farms they held at will. This appears in the well-known report 
of Nicholas Pynnar on the state of the colony, or " Plantation." First, however, let us hear him 
as to the manner in which the natives who remained among the colonists (like the Canaanites 
among the men of Israel) conducted themselves. 

i- Christian Kxaminor, vol. iii. 1^27. 'i MikroUosmos, 4to edit. Loud. 1629. 


He frequently states of the tenantry under chieftains, such as Sir Mulmurry M c Swyne and 
others, that their landlords had " made them no estates," i.e. had not given them cheap leases, as 
hound to do by the terms of the grants ; and he adds, " for that they" (the tenants) " will have 
no longer time than from year to year." It would be curious to ascertain the period when this class 
of tenantry overcame their repugnance to lease-hold tenure (the opposite of Irish " tenant-right,") 
a change the date of which might be found by consulting old rent-rolls. On the other hand, 
with respect to the British tenants, the surveyor employs the expressive term " estates," to designate 
the beneficiary interest they had obtained. Of a certain Celtic landlord, Donnell ATac Swyne, the 
surveyor notices that he had actually " built a house all of lime and stone," in civilised contrast to 
the "Irish houses" of the age, which seem to have been large cabins formed of wattle- work and 
clay. But Mac Swyne had tailed either to give his tenants such security as would lead them to 
build, or to induce them to accept it; for the surveyor states that they " would take for no longer 
time than from year to year." Their disposition, indeed, was not an improving one, for, as he 
adds, they " do plough by their horses' tails." Thus backward in agriculture, their notions on the 
political economy of land tenancy were, no doubt, but little more advanced ; and they were content 
to hold on, without any change, especially of their place of abode, unless, indeed, such change was 
deprived of severity by the custom of " sale of good will," which, according to a scholar in Brchon 
law, Irish tenants enjoyed as a right.' 

Let us now consider the historic origin of that remarkable usage, so peculiar to Ulster, by which 
an ancient and industrious tenantry obtain, through the moderation of their rents, and the value 
of their past industry, a right to dispose of their interest. 

The earliest trace of the origin of tenant-right, or sale of tenancy, among the colonists in Ulster, 
is to be found in the report just referred to. Pynnar states that "the British tenants, who have many 
of them built houses at their own charges, have no estates made to them, which is such discouragement 
unto them, as they are minded to depart the land.'" Some of these men, holding without leases, did, 
very probably, sell the interest, or value they had created by improving, to some of those new- 
comers who may have entered the colony in consequence of the attention directed to it by Pynnar's 
report. Or they may have parted with it to the natives, who, as stated in a subsequent report by 
Sir Thomas Philips, were twice as profitable tenants, in the way of rent, and were willing " to 
over-give, rather than remove." 8 It is obvious, from all that Pynnar reports of the displacement of 
colonists by natives, and from the small number of the former, that the latter enjoyed very much 
the largest share of the occupancy of the province. Several causes conspired to prevent the general 
ejection of the ordinary class of farming Irish ; and it is probable that numbers of them were left 
in possesion, just as the Gaelic tenantry in the Pale remained after the conquest; and that, while 
they paid a rent see, according to English fashion, they were loft by their absentee landlords in 
' Dublin University Magazine, April, 1848. * Harris's Hibernica. 


possession of their hereditary notions as to tenancy. The English tenantry at Omagh, under an 
absentee, complained to Pynnar that they had no leases; for that, since the death of their old land- 
lord, a triple rent was demanded, and, at the same time, they had been deprived of half of their 
land. So numerous were the natives on the estate of the Fishmongers' Company, in the County of 
Deny, and so high the rents they gave, that the English could not obtain any land to farm. Some 
of the tenants under the Mercers' Company, in the same county, paid so dearly for their farms, 
"that they are," says Pynnar, " forced to take Irish tenants under them to pay the rent;" while 
forty-six townlands were " set to the Irish of the sept of Clandonells, which," he remarks, "are 
the only wickedest men in all the country." The London Society and the great absentee proprietors 
had "found," (as Sir Thomas Philips wrote to Charles the First,) " that they could not reap half 
the profit by the British which they did by the Irish," who were soon generally accepted as tenants, 
were "used at the pleasure" of their new landlords, and were "willing to over-give, rather than 
remove, looking to their assured hope that time would relieve them, by rebellion, of their heavy 
landlords." The smouldering hostility at length burst out ; and, in the massacre of 1641, and the 
struggle of 1688, the Gael turned on the settlers ; wrote for them (in the Douglas phrase) leases on 
their own skins, with pens of steel and ink of blood ; and grasped, with the Red Hand of Ulster, 
their old lands once more! 

Enough has, perhaps, been already said to enable our readers to form a sufficient idea of the 
state of central Ulster two hundred years ago. Yet, let us not quit the subject until, by some com- 
parison between that state and its present condition, we may better estimate, by contrast, the 
advantages of security of tenure, with its consequent blessings, peace and "good- will" among 
men. In 1656/ the bulk of the inhabitants of our province continued to live as creaghts 
(a term then synonymous for the wildest of "the wild Irish"), according to their ancient but 
barbarous manner of life, having no fixed habitations, but wandering up and down, with their 
families and substance, a vague and savage mode of life, " contrary to Christian usage." This "sub- 
stance" of theirs consisted of the cattle they drove before them. "Whenever rebellion raged, these 
people and their kine were a ready made commissariat to the insurgent army. "When pursued by 
the English soldiery, their best talent was shown in the crafty modes by which they eluded 
pursuit. If a hasty rush for a bog, a defile, or a wood, could not be made, they sometimes found 
it easy to secrete their live-stock by the methods they practised for avoiding payment of rent, either 
by sinking them up to their heads in water, or hiding them in glens and thickets. A herdsman would 
fight desperately with his staff and his mcadoge, or short knife, to defend his cows, his sole means of 
life. Ho had no more clothes than a rugged woollen coat, or a narrow cloak, which he wrapped 
round his left arm, as a shield, in fighting; for he preferred to fight naked. He could run nimbly 
and securely where the heavy armed " red soldier" sunk. AY~hen half starving, a little rancid butter, 
1 Transao. Kilkenny Arch. Society. " ["later Creaghts." 


shamrocks "hastily snatched" from the ground, a draught of milk, or a drink of blood drawn 
from a cow, supported him. In peaceable times, the men of a sliocht, or community of these 
herdspeople, lay at night in a circle round the fire, among their women and children, hardly 
superior in outward appearance to the animals they herded with. This is a faithful picture of social 
life, in its lowest stage in Ulster, two centuries ago; while at the present day, in the county of Tyrone, 
for example, the scenes in which these dramatis personal were such as we have described are changed 
in almost as complete a manner as the best fairy of romance could desire. Those Caliban creaghts are 
vanished with their starveling black cattle, and in their stead the ploughman whistles merrily at his 
work; the mediaeval wood-kerne, and their successors, the "torics," and "rapparees," or regular 
robbers, have given place to police ; while the land is frequently rendered bright to the eye and 
the mind by breadths of that pretty plant that forms the staple of our most successful manufac- 
ture flax, which, by its careful culture, enables thousands of industrious families to live in com- 
parative comfort and happiness. Besides the full part that "tenant-right" among the colonists must 
have had in effecting these changes for the better, purchase of "good- will" from native or original 
occupiers, in a province inhabited by hostile races, must assuredly have been necessary, and have 
produced corresponding advantageous results. After the great rebellion, the new and numerous 
landlords imported by Cromwell were satisfied to extract as much honey as they could from their 
tenantry, without exasperating the bees. An Ulster absentee was content to get rent from his 
estate, without caring who paid it; and any changes of occupancy among the tenantry were left to 
their own free will. During interchanges between colonists and natives, the purchase of " good- will" 
averted banded enmity, especially in troubled times, such as when the payment of tithe was resisted 
by association, and when, in the words of Primate Boulter, " the humour of clans and confederacies 
was well understood." The resurgence of the native Gael over the land was continuous. A pamphleteer 
of 1746 complains of the emigration of colonist tenants, and of the preference daily shown to their 
rivals; who, "seeing the warm plight of the houses" occupied by the former, the various improve- 
ments made in expectation of a renewal, "and especially the strong sod on the earth," from which 
they looked for a rich return by means of their destructive practice of burning the vegetable matter 
it contained, easily induced land-jobbers to bid for large tracts, binding themselves as under-tenants. 
Under this unequal competition, great numbers of the British gave up their land, for they were loth 
to descend, by paying heavy rents, in the scale of comfort ; and they had none of that attachment 
to the soil which chained the Irish down. Rising rents, however, did riot form the primum mobile 
with all ; the animating motive with many was to better their condition. Arthur Young notices 
that many adventurous emigrants had valuable interests, for which they obtained considerable sums. 
The same intelligent tourist observes : " The Roman Catholics never left ; seeming not only tied 
to the country, but almost to the parish in which their ancestors lived." These statements are 
remarkable enough; especially the first, in proof of the early date of the high value of Tenant-Right 


in Ulster. It can hardly be but that some of the last-mentioned class removed from, at the least, 
their old habitations. When many another hamlet than Lissoy became, about that time, a "de- 
serted village," ejections and emigrations were surely not confined to the least numerous class. If 
some of the natives removed, at that period (when a sudden rise in the value of cattle led to 
considerable changes of occupancy), were they not sometimes "paid for their good- will?" The 
most tender-hearted of Irish poets the gentle and unworldly author of "The Deserted Village" 
who tinged his sweet melancholy verse with doleful sentiment, wretched political economy, 
and unphilosophic forebodings besides immortalising the tenant-grievances of the day, has 
shown, even in prose, his poetic sense of justice and acquaintance with Irish usages, by intro- 
ducing Hibernian tenant-right in merry England; making the Vicar of Wakefield propitiate a 
predecessor in a farm of some twenty acres, by purchasing, with an ill-to-be-spared 100, his 
"good- will." Surely this lavish libation was unnecessary where there were no Dii campestres to be 

Beyond Noll Goldsmith's establishing of the sale of "good- will" in a country where, happily for 
itself, ill-will rarely produces ill results, we have no more recent archseologic notice of Irish 
tenant-right. The precise nature of tenant-right in England is quite outside our theme. Under 
this serviceable custom, the tenants, encouraged to improve, are almost sure, if they improve, to con- 
tinue in occupancy; the golden rule for landlords and tenants being there acted on " Live and let 
live." Test Irish tenant-right, in its two different phases, by this significant criterion, and it will 
be found to rise or fall in moral and true value according as the maxim has been obeyed or dis- 





Little has as yet been written respecting the ancient fortifications called Batvm, which formerly 
existed in great numbers thoroughoxit the Province of Ulster; and the notes here given are intended 
merely as a contribution towards a more complete account of them hereafter. We shall first say a 
few words respecting the supposed origin of the name, and the earliest writer by whom it is men- 
tioned, and then proceed to examine the circumstances under which they were first erected in this 


country ; concluding with a particular description of the Bawn still existing at Bella-Hill, near 
Carrickfergus, a view and ground plan of which accompanies this account. According to Ledwich,* 
daingcan is the Irish word expressing a close-fast place, and, subsequently, a fort. This the Eng- 
lish called a bawn, from the Teutonic bawen, "to construct" and "secure with a number of trees." 
According to Richardson, bawn is derived from the gothic bauan, German bauen " habitare, con- 
struere sedem ubi babitcs;" and bauain " domicilium," occurs in the Gothic version of the Gos- 
pel of St. Mark, v. 3 : "He had his dwelling among the tombs." It appears to have been 
applied to any habitation or building, whether constructed of earth, wood, or stone, and for the 
purposes of defence. Todd [Spenser's Works, vol. viii, p. 399,] observes that bawn is evidently 
used by Spenser for " an eminence." He thus speaks of these buildings in his View of the State 
of Ireland : 

" But those round hills and square bawnes, which you see so strongly trenched and throwne up, 
were (as they say) at first ordained for the same purpose, that people might assemble themselves 
therein ; and therefore anciently they were called Folk-motes, that is, a place for people to meete, 
or talke of anything that concerned any difference between parties and townships, which seemeth 
yet to me very requisite." 

Dean Swift [Works, vol. viii. p. 331, Ed. 1753,] wrote a poem called " The Grand Question De- 
bated, whether Hamilton's Bawn h should be turned into a Barrack or a Malt-house;" the opening 
lines are as follows : 

" Thus spake to my Lady the Knight full cf care, 
Let me have your advice in a weighty affair ; 
This Hamilton's Baton, whilst it sticks on my hand, 
I lose by the house what I get by the land ; 
But how to dispose of it to the best bidder, 
For a barrack, or malt-house, we must now consider." 

In a note to this passage, a Bawn is described as " a place near the house, inclosed with mud or 
stone walls, to keep the cattle from being stolen at night. They are now [1753] but little used." 

The earliest kind of Bawns seem to have been an inclosure, square or circular, surrounded by a 
thick embankment of earth, impaled with wooden stakes or branches of trees, and surrounded with 
a deep trench. Numerous remains of such fortresses have been found, not only in Ireland, but also 
in Britain, Germany, Sweden, and almost every part of Europe. The Irish gave great trouble to 
the early English settlers for many centuries, by fortifying passes between the bogs and mountains 
in this manner, so that it was very tedious to cut through them. This was called plashing a pass, 
from the Franco-Gallic word, plasser, which, like bawen, signifies "to construct" or "entwine." In 
that part of the barony of Forth, in the county of "Wexford, which is nearly inclosed by the small 
river Gill, the descendants of the first English colony still retain many of the words commonly 

Antiquities of Ireland, p. 19G. b In the county of Armagh. The village still bears 

L lices' Encyclopedia, under the word Bawn. this name, and remains of the Bawn are yet in existence. 


used in the time of Henry II. A spider is called " attercross;" a physician, a " leach;" and a quad- 
rangle or Baton, a "basecanet." [Jamieson's Etymolog. Dict.~\ 

It seems probable that, before the English gained possession of this country, each family of the 
Irish lived in a cabin surrounded by a Bawn. The English introduced castles/ in which they were 
imitated by the Irish ; and, in course of time, a Bawn came to signify an inclosure with a wall 
flanked by towers, instead of plashed stakes. In Wexford, Bawns or walled inclosures are usually 
found in connection with the keeps or towers of the early English settlers. The Bawn of the castle 
of Drimnagh, near Dublin, on the road to Crumlin, is still perfect, and the ancient fosse is well 

On the occasion of the "Plantation of Ulster," in the beginning of the reign of King James I., 
it was ordered that each of the English and Scottish " undertakers" should be bound to build a 
strong Castle or Bawn on the lands granted to them ; and that they should "draw their tenants to 
build houses for themselves and their families, near the principal Castle, House, or Bawn, for their 
mutual defence and strength." 6 

These new proprietors of the soil were bound to pay to the Crown six shillings and eightpence, 
English, for every threescore English acres held by them. Those who had 2000 acres, held by 
Knight's service in capite ; those who possessed 1500 acres, held by Knight's service from the 
castle of Dublin; and those who held 1000 acres, held in free and common soccage. The kind of 
Castle or Bawn required by the Crown to be built on these lands was to be of a strength proportioned 
to the number of acres held by the undertaker, as will be seen from the following extract from the 
"Orders and Conditions to be observed by the Undertakers upon the distribution and plantation of 
the Escheated Lands in Ulster. (Printed in 1608.) 

Articles concerning the English and Scottish Undertakers who are to plant their portions with 

English and Scottish Tenants. 

4. Every undertaker of the greatest proportion of 2000 acres shall, within two years after the 
date of his Letters Patents, build thereupon a Castle, with a strong Court or Bawnc about it. And 
eveiy undertaker of the second or middle proportion of 1500 acres shall, within the same time, 
build a stone or brick house thereupon, with a strong Court or Bawne about it. And every under- 
taker of the least proportion of a 1000 acres shall, within the same time, make thereupon a strong 
Court or Bawne at least. And all the said undertakers shall draw their tenants to build houses for 
themselves, and their families, near this principal Castle, House, or Bawnc, for their mutual defence 
or strength. And they shall have sufficient timber, by the assignation of such officers as the Lord 
Deputy and Council of Ireland shall appoint, out of His Majesty's woods in that Province, for the 
same buildings, without paying anything for the same, for the said two years ; and, to that end, 
there shall be a present inhibition to restrain the falling or destruction of the said woods in the 
mean time, for what cause soever." 

d Before the arrival of Henry ii. stone structures were the English seized the richest portions of the country, 
uncommon. He built Castles within the English Pale, and drove the natives to the woods and mountains, 
to secure possession of this country, and by these means e Harris' LLibcrnica, p. 120. 


In consequence of these orders of the government, there were erected, in the six northern escheated 
counties, in the space of a few years, 107 Castles with Bawns, 19 Castles without Bawns, and 42 
Bawns without Castles or Houses. Those to whom lands were granted in every part of the kingdom 
were bound to build in like manner : there were 80 in Queen's County alone, and probably between 
three and four thousand throughout the kingdom/ 

The far greater number of these Bawns have long since fallen into decay : few ruins even of them 
remain. In Pynnar's Survey of Ulster (1618-19), full particulars will be found of the Bawns then 
existing in the six northern escheated counties, in which number (unfortunately for archaeologists), 
Antrim, not being escheated, is not included. They seem all to have been built in a very similar 
manner ; and the following account of one of them, will serve as a description of the whole : 


John Hamilton, Esq., hath 1000 acres, called Kilcloghan. Upon this Proportion there is built a 
Bawne of Lime & Stone eighty feet square, and thirteen feet high, with two round Towers for 
Flankers, being twelve feet le Piece in the diameter. There is also begun a Stone House, which is 
now one Storie high, and is intended to be four stories high, being 48 feet long & 24 feet broad ; 
besides two Towers which be vaulted, & do flank the House." 3 

!Most of the Bawns erected were about 80 feet square, with two flankers to each ; but we must 
refer those who wish for fuller particulars to Pynnar's accurate Survey. 

We come now to describe the Bawn existing at Bella-Hill, to which we wish to direct particular 
attention, it being, as far as we are aware, the most perfect of its kind now existing in Ulster. 
Before doing so, however, it may be necessary to say a few words respecting the person by whom 
it was erected, and the manner in which he became possessed of the property on which it stands. 

John Dallwaye, the first of that family who settled in this country, landed at Carrickfergus with 
Waller Devercux, Earl of Essex, and Lord Rich (according to family MSS.), on the 20th of August, 
1 573. He was at this time a cornet in the army of Queen Elizabeth; and from a sketch of his family- 
arms, painted on black oak, and which is still preserved at Bella-Hill, it appears that he came from 
Devonshire, 1 ' probably in the suite of Sir Arthur Chichester, whose family resided at llaleigh, in that 
county. In 1603, John Dallwaye was Constable of Carrickfergus Castle. Previous to this, he had 
married Jane O'Biync, niece of Sir Phelim M c Bryan O'Xeill, and grand-daughter of Hugh, Earl of 
Tyrone, and nearly related by her mother to Shane APBryan O'Xeill, of the Lower Clandeboye. In 
ronscquencc of this marriage, he obtained a grant from Sbanc O'jSTeill, of the greater part of the 

f Ledwich's Antiq., p. 197. first. Motto, " Virtus suo iminimine tuta." Under the 

g Harris's Hibemica, p. 141. motto is the inscription "Insignia Gentilia Johannis 

h Dalway MSS. Dauivat, de Bello Monte juxta Kupem FEHGusiifin 

The arms are: Arg- two lions in chief, counter pas- Com. Antrim armigeri, qui sub vexillis Elizabeths 

sant, and one in base, passant, all guardant, gu. armed Reginje in Com, Devonian in Anglia, venit in Hiberniam, 

and langued, az.~ Crest, a demi-lion rampant, holding circiter An. 1573." The present motto of the family is 

in his paw a staff erect ppr ; on a banner appendant ''Esto quod audes ;" but when or by whom changed does 

thereto and dotant to the sinister: arg. a saltier of the not appear. 


" Tough" of Braden-island (now Broad-island), and the lands of Kilroot. The original agreement 
was as follows : ' 

"Mem dm , That I, John Dallwaye, of Camckfergus, Gent., doe promise to performe these 
Covenants and Conditions following; that is to say, dureing my own naturall life I am to pay for 
the Tough of Brinny Island, j in the contry of North Clandyboy, but her Maj tys rent according the 
Survey, and after me Deceas that my Heirs shall pay to Shane M c Bryau O'Neill, or his Heirs, 
portionally according as the rest of the freeholders of the said Shane's contry shall pay by the acre 
or estimation. In witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand, 1 7th Febr., 1591. 

Jouxe Dallwaye. 
Signed & delivered in the 
presents of us whose names 

Moyses Hill, John Beowst, 

A. Bagenall, Ha: * * * esman." 

Shane O'Neill died in 1595, and, in consequence of his having joined Tyrone's rebellion, all his 
lands (including those granted to John Dallwaye), became forfeited to the Crown. John Dallwaye, 
however, on the 8th of October, 1603, obtained a grant from James I. of the " Barony of Braid- 
island, Harrington Savage, Alfrackine, Island Ogre, Clubforde, or Johnstone's Ford, the Mountains 
of the Orland- water, near Lough Morne, Ballihill, Mullagh-moolli, Mullagh Killroute, or Mul- 
lagh-Killrowle, & the White-headc near the sea, in the C Antrim, at the rent of xiii. Engl, to 
hold for ever in free and common soccago as of the Castle of Carrickfergus." These, with other 
lands, purchased from James Hamilton, Lord Clandcboyc, were on the 8th of July, 1608, erected 
by Letters Patent into the Manor of Dallway. 

Having thus hud these lands re-granted by the Crown, it would seem that John Dallwaye was 
obliged to fulfil the conditions imposed on all who had obtained lands in the Province of Ulster; 
and he probably proceeded forthwith to build a Bawn of the kind required. The exact date of the 
erection is not known; but from an agreement (given below) made between John Dallway and 
William Miller, for the repair of the four turrets, it must have been anterior to 1632. It was pro- 
bably erected in 1609, immediately after the grant of the Letters Patent by King James. 

Its dimensions (as will be seen from the accompanying ground-plan) arc as follows : 

Length from North to South, 133 feet. 

East to West, 106 ,, 

Original height of walls, From 16 to 23 feet. 

Height (if the towers, 30 feet. 

Diameter of towers inside, 12 ,, 

Dahvay MSS. j Now Braidislaud, or Broad-island. 


Thickness of tower-walls, 3 feet. 

,, curtain-walls, 3 

Height of gateway, 12 


3 inches. 


Hig/t (rrou/?r/ 




Immediately over this gate-way, formerly a gallows was placed, the ring of which still remains. 
The turrets have three floors each. These turrets are all standing, and in good repair, with the 
exception of that in the S."W. corner, which fell many years since. Two of them are at present 
inhabited. Two embrasures for cannon were formerly in each turret, though now built up ; 
but, as tbc opening was only four inches wide, it is probable that only musketry was used as 
a means of defence. Tradition asserts that this Bawn was several times attacked during the un- 
quiet times of the 17th and 18th centuries; but we can find no accurate account of the date 


when, or the persons hy whom, these attacks were made. Some thirty years since, the present 
owner, whilst removing some earth from the yard, found three or four six-pound shot, and some 
fragments of shells, together with one perfect one, deeply imbedded in the soil. From this it 
would seem that the Bawn had been formerly attacked with cannon. In its original state it was 
capable of affording shelter for 200 head of cattle, and it has, without doubt, been used for this 
purpose. The family mansion-house formerly stood on the X. side of the yard (as marked on the 
ground-plan), but was removed at the end of the last century. The present house was built in 
1791, by the late Harriott Dal way, Esq., grand-uncle of the present owner. 

The agreement (mentioned above) between John Dallwaye and "William Miller, of Broadisland, 
mason, for building four staircases to the turrets, is as follows : 

" (Endorsed) Agriment betwene M r Dallway synor and William Miller, for putting up 4 staircases 
to the four turretts, at 8 Lib. sterl. p. peice. Dated 3 Janry., 1632. 

Memorand. that it is agreeit betwixt John Dallway of Ballehill the elder, esquier, on the on part, 
and "William Miller of Broadylland, maysone, on the wther part, videliz it : The sayd William 
Miller is to build to the sayd M r Dallway within his land of Ballehill four stair caisses to his four 
turretts in Ballehill, with ane turnrayle within every of the sayd caisses of gud and suficient frie- 
stone, with ane rund litle turrat tuo storie heigh to everie turrat, the sayd stair caisses being of the 
quantie ass now thay ar of, and the corners of the caisses is to be of gud and sufficient fristone, with 
peat stones to everie of the godvilles (?) of gud and sufficient fristone, all which fristone is to be 
weill and sufficiently heuin, and everie turrat is to haue tuo chimlayes of gud and sufficient fristone, 
with hearth stones to everie chimlaye, all sufficiently heuin with ane doir to everie stair caiss, 
weill and sufficiently heuin of fristone, with thre windoos to everie stair caiss of frestone ; and 
the sayd William is to make pidgione holies in the godvill (?) of everie of the sayd caisses; and the 
sayd Williame Miller is to furnish all the sayd frestones upon his man chairdgis, and is to leay 
them in at the rivver fout of Ceilrout, with alss manny frestone ass will be riging stones to the rufe 
of the sayd caiss ; and the sayd Willianie Miller is to burne lyme to the forsayd work, the sayd M r 
Dallway furneishing colics and quarryyit lymestone and workmen (?) for the setting of the lyme 
cill ; and the doores of the sayd caisses is to be wroight accoirding ass the castell geet of bread 
plankis (?) ; and the sayd M r Dallway is to pay to the sayd William Miller for consideration for the 
sayd work and furnishing of frestone, the soome of Aught pounds lawfull Englesh mony for everie 
of the sayd stair caisses, amounting for all to thrattie and tuo pounds in maner following ; first, the 
sayd William is to haue fortie scillings when he begins the sayd work, & fortie scillings when the 
stair caiss is half wrought, and wther fortie scillings when the stair caiss is eompleit and ended; 
and so he is to haue his payment for the rest of the stair caisses accordingly, with ane barell of 
meall to the boutay ; and the sayd M r Dallway is to lay all the materialls for the sayd work within 
the sayd land of Ballehill; and this agriment is to be further amplefiet with bands for the per- 
formance theirof. 

"Witnes our handes, At Broad Hand this 3d of Januarc, 1G32. 
Witness heirto, Jonx Dallway. 

James Ehmoxsoxxe, "William Miller, 


his mark." 
From the particularity with which the turrets arc here described, an accurate idea can be formed of 
the manner in which thev were originally built. 


The "Cynament" of Ballynure was leased on the 16th of November, 1610, by John Dallwaye 
to Thomas Hybbotts and Moyses Hill, for 61 years, at the rent of 100 per annum. These lands 
in 1626 passed into the hands of the Dobbs family, and are still in their possession; Margaret, the 
daughter of John Dallwaye, having married John Dobbs, who thus became possessed of the lands 
of Castle-Dobbs and Ballynure. 

In this agreement it is stated that John Dallwaye "is bound, by his Majesty's Letters Patent, to 
raise a sufficient Castle of Lyme and Stone, to be builded within the said Cynament of Ballynure;" 
and, by a clause at the end of the lease, it is agreed "that the said Thomas Hybbotts & Moyses 
Hill, or cither of them, or either of their executors or assigns, shall from time to time, at their own 
proper costs and charges, repair the said Castle or Bawn, and all other buildings of the English 
fashion, which shall hereafter be erected & raised on the premises, or on any part of them; & att 
the end of the said lease, shall leave the said Castle or Bawne, and all other the said buildings which 
shall be on the premises, stiff, stanch, and tennanable." The ruins of this castle may still be seen 
at Ballynure. 

From an indenture made 28th May, 1609, between "John Dallwaye of Brayd Island & William 
Edmonston, of Duntreath, in the kingdom of Scotland," it was agreed that " the said William Ed- 
monston shall and will, at any time hereafter within the space of six years next ensuing the dale 
hereof, whensoever the said John Dallwaye, his Hcyres and Assignes, shall goe about to erect and 
build a castle at Ballynure, within this county of Antrym, upon notice & request thereof to be 
made by the said John Dallway to the said Wm. Edmonston, at the costs & charges of the said 
Wm. Edmonston, procure, provide & bring to the place where the said Castle shall be appointed by 
the said John Dallway to be built, all such and so many good and sufficient slate stones as shall be 
necessary for the covering of the said Castle of Ballynure." It was also agreed that William 
Edmonston' s tenants should give four days labour, " with themselves and all their cattle, for the 
bringing home of the Timber to the said Castle, for building of the said Castle, and also provide 
carts & horses sufficient for the bringing home to the said Castle of half the Lyme which shall be 
spent & employed in & about the building thereof, so as they be not compelled to travell out of 
Brayd-island for the fetching of the same Lyme." 

It will be observed that this agreement with William Edmonston was made by John Dallwaye 
the year previous to the one with Thomas Hybbotts and Moyses Hill ; and it is probable that, on 
his making the latter, the castle at Ballynure was built forthwith, as required by the Letters 
Patent, and in the manner above stated. 

The preceding remarks have been put together with the hope that they will induce archaeologists, 
better acquainted with the subject, to give the readers of the Ulster Journal of Archccology an account 
of the Bawns known to them, together with the dates of their erection, and the purposes to which 
they have been applied. The history of these structures is one of considerable interest to the anti- 
quary, and lias never yet received the attention which it deserves. 

[The following additional notes on Bawns have been contributed by Dr. O'Donovan. Edit."] 

The term Bawn, which frequently appears in documents relating to Irish history since the 
plantation of Ulster, is an anglicismatical form of the Irish badhun, meaning an enclosure or fortress 
for cows. It occurs but very seldom in Irish documents, the earliest montion of a castle so called 
being found in the Annals of the Four Masters, under the year 1547, namely, badhun Riaganach, 
whicb was the name of the chief castle of O'Dunne's territory of Oregan, in the north-west of the 
Queen's County. From this period forward, it is frequently to be met with in different parts of 
Ireland. In the Erse or Gaelic of the Highlands of Scotland, it is called Idbhirn, and the word is 
now so pronounced in Ulster, but in Munster badhun. In the moro ancient Irish documents, as in 
the Brehon laws, a cow fortress is more usually called bu-dhaingen, but bd-dhun is equally correct. 
It is sometimes written badhbh-dhun, i.e. the fortress of Badhbh, the Bellona of the ancient Irish ; 
but this is probably a fanciful writing of it. The word dun, which is derived from the verb dim, 
to enclose, shut, is found in various names of places in Gaul, mentioned by Caesar. It was trans- 
lated munitio by Adamnan in his Vita Columlce. 

The term "Bawn" for a cow-fortress, or enclosure for cattle, would appear to have been more 
generally used in the Highlands of Scotland than in Ireland; for, after the "plantation" of the pro- 
vince of Ulster in 1609, we find that a fortress of this kind was built by each of the undertakers, 
who were principally Scottish. One of the articles concerning the English and Scottish under- 
takers upon the distribution and plantation of the escheated lands in Ulster, enjoins that "Every 
undertaker of the greatest proportion of two thousand acres shall, within two years after the date 
of his Letters Patents, build thereupon a castle, with a strong Court or Bawnc upon it. And every 
undertaker of the second or middle proportion of fifteen hundred acres, shall, within the same time, 
build a stone or brick house therewithin, with a strong Court or Bawnc about it. And every un- 
dertaker of the least proportion of a thousand acres shall, within the same time, make thereupon a 
strong Court or Bawne at least. And all the said undertakers shall draw their tenants to build 
houses for themselves and their families near the principal castle, house, or Bawne, for their mutual 

It is also enjoined on the Irish natives, who shall be admitted to be freeholders, that "they 
shall inhabit their lands, and build their castles, houses, and Bawncs, within two years." 

Accordingly, we find by Fynnar's Survey of Ulster, made in 1618-1619, that the English and 
Scottish undertakers all built castles and Bawns; as Sir James Hamilton, who held three thousand 
acres in the territory of Clonkec, in the County of Cavan, on which he built a very large strong 
castle of lime, and called Castle Aubignie, with the king's arms cut in free-stone over the gate. 
" This castle," says Pyunar, " is five stories high, with four round towers for Hankers, the body of 
the castle fifty feel long, and twenty-eight feet broad. The roof is set up, and ready to be slated. 


There is adjoining to the end of the castle a Bawne of lyme and stone, eighty feet square, with two 
flankers fifteen feet high. This is very strongly huilt and surely wrought. In this castle himself 
dwelleth, and keepeth house with his lady and family. This castle standeth upon a meeting of five 
beaten ways, which keeps all that part of the country." 

His example was followed by John Hamilton, Esq., at Kilcloghan, in the same county, where 
he had one thousand acres, who built a Bawn of lime and stone eighty feet square, and another of 
stone and clay one hundred feet square. 

Bawns were also erected in the same county by William Hamilton, Esq., Sir Thomas Ash, 
Captain Culme, Sir John Elliott, and Shane Mac Phillip O'llellio, who, on his proportion of nine 
hundred acres, hath "a small Bawue of sodds," and an Irish house "wherein he dwelleth; and 
Mullmorie Mac Phillip O'Eeyloy, who, on his proportion of one thousand acres in Ittererry-Outra, 
hath a verv strong Bawne, with four flankei-s and a deep Moate ; a good Irish house within it, in 
which himself and family dwelleth. Captain Kelcy of Liscannor also hath a Bawne of sodds and a 
house in it, in which he dwelleth. He hath made no estates but from year to year, and all his 
tenants do plough by the tail. Mulrnoric Oge O'Belie hath three thousand acres. Upon this there 
is a Bawne of sodds, and in it an old castle, which is now built up, in which himself and family 
dwelleth. He hath made no estates to any of his tenants, and they do all plough by the tail." 

The other Irish natives who had proportions in this county were Maurice MacTelligh of Lis- 
curcron, who had three thousand acres, and a "Bawne of sods, and in it a good Irish house; Mull- 
mory Mac Hugh O'Eclcy, two thousand acres called Commet, who had a strong house of lime and 
stone, and a Bawne about it of sodds; and Phillip MacTirlagh, three hundred acres called Wateragh, 
and a Bawne of sodds ; Magauran, one thousand acres, a house of lime and stone, with a ditch cut 
up about it." 

In the County Ecrmanagh, also, the English and Scottish undertakers built castles and 
Bawns of lime and stone, sixty, seventy, or eighty feet square ; but Con MacShane O'Xeal, who had 
fifteen hundred acres called Clabby, "hath made a little Bawne of sods," and a house within it of 
lime and stone very strong built. He hath made three lease-holders, which have each of them sixty 
acres lor twenty-one years ; but all his tenants do plough after the Irish manner." Brian Maguire 
of Tempo Dcssoll, hath a large Bawne of sodds, and " all his tenants do plough after the Irish man- 

" In the Co. Donegal Sir Mulmoria MacSwyne, hath built a Bawne of lime and stone, and a good 
stone house, but his tenants plough after the Irish manner. MacSwyne Banagh hath also a Bawne 
of lime and stone, and so hath 0' Boyle and "Walter MacLoughlin MacSwyne, who was loyal, and a 
Justice of the Peace in the County." 

In the Co. of Tyrone, the English and Scottish undertakers built Bawns of lime, and of the usual 
dimensions; but the only native Irish chieftain mentioned is Tirlagh O'JSeale, "who hath four 


thousand acres, and hath made a piece of a Bawne, which is five feet high, and hath been so for a 
long time. He hath made no estates to his tenants, and all of them do plow after the Irish manner." 

In the Co.' of Armagh, the English and Scottish undertakers built castles andBawnes of the usual 
materials and dimensions; but the only native Irishman Henry UncShane O'Neale, who had one 
thousand acres, built nothing; ''he being lately dead, his proportion came unto the possession of Sir 
Toby Caulfield." 

In the Co. Londonderry, the undertakers built great castles, houses, and Bawnes, but the native 
Irish were allowed no proportion. 

It would appear from Pynnar's Survey of the preceding Counties in Ulster, that the few Irish who 
were granted estates at "the plantation," wished to adhere to their old system of building and hus- 
bandry. They were no doubt very poor and totally unable to vie with the new undertakers, with 
the exception of Sir Mulmurry MacSwiney Doe, who had a pension of seven shillings a day allowed 
him for lite. The native Irish built very fine Bawns of lime and stone in other parts of Ireland, 
long before this period ; one of the finest specimens of which, now remaining almost perfect, is the 
castle of Ballintober, the ancient seat of 0' Conor Don, in the Co. of Koscommon. 

What' "ploughing by the tail" actually means, none of our writers have as yet cleared up. 
The Irish yoked six horses to the plough, and hence the team is called seisreach; but I hold it im- 
possible that they could drag the plough through the land, if yoked to their tails only. I am aware 
that the opposite opinion has been maintained, but the subject has not received that degree of his- 
torical and scientific investigation which it deserves. Jonx O'Doxovax. 


This distinguished poet was born in London, about the year 1530, and became a student of the 
university of Cambridge, where he made a great progress in his studies, but he never attained to 
any high collegiate degree or profession. He came to Ireland in the year 1585, as secretary to 
Arthur Lord Grey, Baron of Wilton, Lord Deputy of Ireland ; and in 158S, he obtained a grant of 
three thousand acres of laud around Kilcolman, in the county of Cork, on which he settled with his 
family, but he was expelled from thence by the Irish rebels. He died very poor in London in 1599, 
and was, according to his own desire, buried there in St. Peter's Church, near Chaucer, at the ex- 
pense of Kobert, Earl of Essex. He was considered the prince of the English poets of his time. 

His principal poetical work was his Faery Queen, which he wrote from his retreat " on Mulla's 
banks," and which he had presented to the Earl of Ormond, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. 


He also wrote in prose, A View of the State of Ireland, written Dialogue-wise, between Eudoxus 
and Irenaus. This work lay in MS., in Archbishop Usshcr's Library, and was printed and pub- 
lished by Sir James Ware, in folio, Dublin, 1633, and dedicated to Lord Wentworth, then Lord 
Deputy of Ireland. 

The scope and intention of this work, was to forward the reformation of the abuses and evil cus- 
toms of Ireland, and to reduce them to the standard of English " civilitic." Some subjects in this 
work arc very ably handled and well written, particularly those which relate to politics, such as the 
reduction of the disaffected " wilde Irishrie" to due obedience to the Crown of England; but in the 
history and antiquities of the country he is often mistaken, and seems rather to have indulged the 
fancy and licence of a poet, than the judgment and research of a historian. 

A few of his more glaring and barefaced mistakes will be pointed out in the present short paper. 
We shall perhaps make his other errors the subject of future articles. 

Harris, iu his Edition of Wares Writers, p. 327, states that Spenser promised to write a pai'- 
ticular treatise on the antiquities of Ireland, but that it is probable he never performed the task, 
being prevented by death. Ben Johnson, in his Letter to Drurnmond of Hawthorndcn, states that 
he died " for lack of bread," but this is scarcely credible; for he had a pension of 60 per annum, 
which was, at that period, more than the highest literary pension of the present day. His descen- 
dants were in possession of Kilcolman when Ware edited his View of the State of Ireland. 

Spenser has attempted to shew that many distinguished families having Irish surnames in his time, 
and accounted as of Irish origin, were really of English descent. In his View of the State of Ire- 
land, written in the shape of a dialogue between Eudoxus and Irenccus, he writes as follows of the 
Byrnes, Tooles, and Kavanaghs of Lcinster : 

Eudoxus. " There now remaineth the East parts towards England, which I would be glad to 
understand, from whence you do think them peopled." 

Irenceus. " 31 any, I thinke of the Brittaines themselves ; of which though there be little footing 
now remaining, by reason that the Saxons afterwards, and lastly the English, driving out the in- 
habitants thereof, did posscsse and people it themselves. Yet amongst the Tooles, the Dims or 
Drins, the Cavanaghs, and other nations in Lcinster, there is some memory of the Britans remay- 
ning. As the Tonics are culled of the old British word Tol, that is, a hill country; the Brins of 
the British word Brin, that is, woods; and the Cavenaghs of the word Caune, that is, strong; so 
that, in these three people, the very denomination of the old Britons doc still remain." \_Dub. Edit. 
p. 74.] 

"The people of the Birnes and Tooles (as before I showed unto you in my conjecture) descended 
from the ancient Brittains, which first inhabited all those easternc parts of Ireland, as their names 
doe betoken; for Brin, in the Britiish language, signifieth woody, and Toole hilly, which names it 
seems they tooke of the eountryes which they inhabited, which is all very mountainous and woody." 
[JJab. Ed. p. 181, 18.5.J 

Again, speaking of the English families who changed their names, he says: 
Ead'M-." Bm (-an 3-011 count us any of this kind?" 


Iren. " I cannot but by report of the Irish themselves, who report that the Mac-mahons, in the 
north, were anciently English, to wit, descended from the Fitz-TJrsulas," which was a noble family 
in England, and that the same appeareth by the signification of their Irish names : Likewise that 
the Mac-swynes, now in Ulster, were anciently of the Veres in England, but that they themselves, 
for hatred, " so disguised their names." 

JEudox. " Could they ever conceive any such dislike of their own natural countryes, as that they 
would be ashamed of their name, and byte at the dugge from which they sucked life?" 

Iren. "I Avote well there should be none; but proud hearts do oftentimes (like wanton colts) 
kickc at their mothers; as we read Alcibiades and Thcmistocles did, who, being banished out of 
Athens, fled unto the kings of Asia, and there stirred them up to Avarre against their country, in 
which warres they themselves were chieftains. So they say did these Mac-swincs and Mac-raahons, 
or rather Veres and Fitz-Ursulaes, for private despight, turnc themselves against England. Eor at 
such time as Robert Vere, Earl of Oxford, Avas in the Barons' Avarrcs against King Richard the 
Second, through the malice of the Peercs, banished the realme and proscribed, he, with his kinsman 
Fitz-Ursula, fled into Ireland ; where being prosecuted, and afteiwards in England put to death, his 
kinsman there remaining behind in Ireland, rebelled, and conspiring with the Irish, did quite cast 
off both their English name and allcagiance, since which time they have so remained still, and have 
since been counted mecre Irish. The very like is also reported of the Mac-swincs, Mac-mahones, 
and Mae-shehies of Mouuster, how they likeAvise Avcrc anciently English, and old followers to the 
Earl of Desmond, until! the raigne of King Edward the Fourth : at which time the Earl of Des- 
mond that then Avas, called Thomas, being through false subornation (as they say) of the Queene 
for some offence by her against him conceiA _ ed, brought to his death at Tredagh most unjustly, not- 
withstanding that he Avas a very good and sound subject to the King : Thereupon all his kinsemen 
of the Geraldines, which then Avas a mighty family in Mounster, in revenge for that huge Avrong, 
rose into armes against the King, and utterly renounced and forsookc all obedience to the CroAvne 
of England, to whom the said Mac-Swines, Mac-Shehies and Mac-Mahoncs, being then servants and 
followers, did the like, and have ever sithence so continued. And with them (they say) all the 
people of Monaster Avcnt out, and many other of them, Avhich were mcere English, thenceforth 
joyncd with the Irish against the King, and termed themsch-es A-cry Irish, taking on them Irish 
habits and customes, which could never since be cleane Avyped aAvay, but the contagion hath re- 
mained still amongst their postcrityes. Of which sort they say be most of the surnames which end 
in (in, h as Human, Shinan, Mungan, &c. ; the which uoaa t account themselves naturall Irish. 
Other great houses' there bee of the English in Ireland, which thorough licentious conversing AA'ith 
the Irish, or marrying or fostering with them, or lack of meete nurture, or other such unhappy 
occasions, have dcgendred u from their ancient dignities,'' and are now groAvne as Irish as O'hanlan's 

a Campion also gives this absurd stovy in his Historic of and the De Courceys of Kinsale : some MS. copies also 

Ireland, written in the year 1571. In his list of English mention the great Mortimer, but this was MacXamara 

gentlemen of longest continuance in Ulster, he mentions of Thoinond. 

"the Savages, Jordans, Fitz-Symonds, Chamberlains, a Dcyendred from tluir ancient dignities. The writer 

Kussels, Bensons, Aiulleyes, Whites; and Fit/.-L'rsulycs, of a tract on the O'Madden family, preserved in the 

now degenerate, and called in Irish, MacMahon, the llnok of lly-mnny, asserts, that the descendants of the 

IJeare's Sonn." [/<//<. //.] English settlers in Ireland had, before the arrival of 

" Which I-'. ml in An. Spenser here mistakes what the liruee in l.'Jlo, improved very much by their connection 

Irish had told him, viz., that all those surnames ending with the Irish, lie says that "they had exchanged their 

in on among the li Mi. are of Knglish origin, -,- Sin tun. savngeness lor a tine mind, their surliness tor good man- 

llugun, Dalatun, Barim, Masun ; i.e., Sutton, lluggon, tiers, their stubbornness lor sweet mildness, and their 

Dalton, Haron, Mason. perverseness for hospitality" [See Tribes and Customs 

1 The great houses he had in view were, according to uf Hy-Many, p lob' ] 

some MS. copies of his work, those of I < I'.urro <<\ the 'On the idea entertained in Ireland, concerning the 

Co. of Mayo, the Liirmiughams of Athenry andCaihur Li t; of the ditferent members ot a triljt in the reign 


breech, as the proverb there is.'' [Dub. Ed. p. 107 to 110.] Again, in p. 23, he calls the country 
of the Mac-Namaras, lying between the river Fergus and the river Shannon, by the name of "Mor- 
timer's land," by which appellation it is also called on some old maps of Munster, made in the reign 
of James I. 

"In the reign of King Edward the Fourth, things remained yet in the same state that they were 
after the late breaking out of the Irish, which I spake of; and that noble Prince began to cast an 
eve unto Ireland, and to minde the reformation of things there runne amisse : for he sent over his 
brothei', the worthy Duke of Clarence, who, having married the heirc of the Earle of Ulster, and 
by her having all the Earledome of Ulster, and much in Meath and in Mounster, very carefully went 
about the redressing of all those late evills; and though he could not beate out the Irish againe, by 
reason of his short contimiancc, yet bee did shut them up within those narrow corners and glennes 
under the mountaines foote, in which they lurked, and so kept them from breaking any further, by 
building strong holdes upon every border, and fortifying all passages. Amongst the which hec re- 
paired the castle of Clare in Thomond, of which countrey he had the inheritance, and of Mor- 
timer's [i.e., Mae-Namara's] lands adjoining, which is now (by the Irish) called Killaloe. Put the 
times of that good King growing also troublesome, did lett [i.e., prevent] the thorough reformation 
of all things. And thereunto soone after was added another fatall mischiefe, which wrought a 
greater calamity then all the former. For the said Duke of Clarence, then Lord Lieutenant of Ire- 
land, was, by practice of evill persons about the King, his brother, called thence away : and soone 
after, by sinister means, was clean made away. Presently after whose death, all the North revolt- 
ing, did set up Oneale for their Captaine, being before but of small power and regard : and there 
arose in that part of Thomond one of the 0' Prions called Murragh-en-Ranagh, that is Morrice of 
the Feme, or waste wildc places, who gathering unto him all the reliques of the discontented Irish, 
eftsooncs surprised the said castle of Clare, burnt and spoyled all the English there dwelling, and 
in short space possessed all that countrev beyond the river Shannon, and nccre adjoining." [Dubl. 
El. pp. 23, 24.] 

The assertions and conjectures of the poet Spenser, have been already partially exposed by Dr. 
Keating, in his preface to his History of Ireland, [Haliday's Edition, p. xxxix,] and by ltoderic 
O'Flaherty, who has devoted a whole chapter of his Ogygia [part III., c. 77] to prove that 
Spenser, though a distinguished poet, can have no claim to credit as a historian. The celebrity of 
his name, however, lias imposed upon some learned foreign writers, such as Thierry and others, and 
it becomes our duty here to point out his errors on this subject at full length. And first, as to his 
historical errors. 

First, with respect to Robert De Yere, Earl of Oxford, and his cousin Fitz Ursula, there is not 
the slightest evidence to show that cither of them ever was in Ireland. Pobert de Yere was ap- 

nf Elizabeth, Sponsor writes as follows: "You must the same care which in other nations was peculiar to 
know that all the Irish almost boast themselves to be the rich and great : fur it was from his own genealogy 
gentlemen, no less than the Welsh; for if he can derive each man of the tribe, poor as well as rich, held the 
himself from the head of any sept, (as most of them can, charter of his civil state, his right of property in the 
they are so expert by their Bardes,) then hee hohleth cantred in which he was born, the soil of which was oc- 
himself a gentleman, and thereupon scorncth to icorke or cupied by one family or clan, and in which no one law- 
use any hard labour, which he saith is the life of a pea- fully possessed any portion of the soil if he was not of 
Eant or churle." [Dull. Ed. pp. -21, 228 ] the same race with the chief." [See the Miscellany of the 
" Those of the lowest rank among a great Irish tribe, Celtic Society, p. 144, and Cambria Descriptio, cc. i , and 
traced and retained the whole line of their descent with xvii. 


pointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, on the 1st of September, 1385, but he never came over, [see 
Harris's Ware, vol. II., p. 106,] nor was he put to death, but died at Louvain, in 1392. And 
secondly, with respect to Spenser's assertion, that Edward the Fourth, King of England, sent his 
brother, the Duke of Clarence, over to Ireland, where he married the Earl of Ulster's daughter, and 
being Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, was called thence away, and soon after put to death ; it involves 
such a tissue of errors, as drew from the honest O'Elaherty the severest censure. " Haec in proe- 
scnti sufficiunt ad omnem Mem historicam Spencero denegandum." [Ogygia, part III., c. 77.] 

The brother of Edward IV. (George, Duke of Clarence,) was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ire- 
land in 1478 ; he never came over, however, but discharged that office by different deputies, till he 
was sentenced by his brother to be put to death. He was not the Duke of Clarence who married 
the heiress of the Earl of Ulster ; for the Earldom of Ulster had passed into the royal family of 
England, five generations earlier; namely, in the time of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, who was Lord 
Lieutenant of Ireland in 1361, and who married the Lady Elizabeth De Burgo, the sole heiress of 
William De Burgo, third Earl of Ulster. So much for Spenser's knowledge of English history ! Had 
he studied the works of the truly learned Camden more closely, he would never have fallen into 
such egregious mistakes. 

" En igitur poeta; in doniesticis peritiam ! En politici in historiis pueritiam ! " 

Let us next consider his Irish traditions and etymological arguments, which have been received 
as conclusive by Sir Charles Coote, and even by the ingenious Thierry. The families which he at- 
tempts to prove to be of British origin, though then bearing Irish surnames, arc the following : 

1 . The O'Bymcs of Leinstcr. 

2. The O'Tooles of Leinstcr. 

3. The Cavanaghs of Leinstcr. 

4. The MacMahons of Ulster. 

5. The MacMahons of Munster. 

6. The MacSwynes of Ulster. 

7. The MacSwynes of Munster. 

8. The MacShcehics of Minister. 

9. The MacXamaras of Thomond. 

[Now, with respect to the two surnames placed first in this list, it will be remembered that 
Spenser concludes that, as the word L'rin, in the British language, signifieth woody, and r Tol hilly, 
the O'Byrnes and the O'Tooles were of Welsh origin, and derived their names from the woods and 
hills of the present county of Wicklow. But it must lie here remarked, that this conjecture is not 
even ingenious, because Irish family names are not derived from localities; and even granting, for 
the sake of argument, that they were, it would not hold good in the two instances under considera- 


tion, because the O'Bymes and O'Tooles -were not originally seated among the woods and hills of 
the present county of Wicklow, but in the plains of the county of Kildarc ; and their real names 
are not Briu and Toole, as Spenser thought, hut the one is properly O'Brain i.e., descendant of 
Bran, a man's name, signifying a raven; and the other O'Tuathail, i.e., descendant of Tuathal, a 
man's name, signifying princely or lordly, and having no more relationship to the "Welsh tol, a hill, 
than it has with the English "tool." We know, moreover, from the authentic Irish annals, who 
these two progenitors -were ; and Spenser might have learned the same from many of the Irish 
poets whom he consulted, if his object had been the investigation of truth, and not political figments. 
Bran, the progenitor of the family of O'Brain, was king of Leinster. He was deprived of his eye- 
sight by Sitric, son of Amlaff, king of the Danes of Dublin, in the year 1017; after which he left 
Ireland, and retired into the Irish monastery at Cologne, where he died at an advanced age in the 
year 10-32. His father, Maclmora, who was also king of Leinster, was slain in the battle of Clon- 
tarf, of which he was the chief instigator. Tuathal, the progenitor of the family of O'Tuathail, 
now O'Toole, was also king of Leinster, and died in the year 956. His son was slain at Clontarf 
in 1014, fighting on the side of the Danes. 

0. To prove that the surname Cavanagh is of Welsh origin, he asserts that Caune in "Welsh signi- 
fies strong in English. This may be true ; but what has the signification of the Welsh word caune 
to do with the cognomen caemhunacli, which was first applied to Domhnall (Donnell, the bastard 
son of Dermot Mac Murrough, king of Leinster), who was slain in 1175, and who had himself re- 
ccived this cognomen from his having been fostered by the Coarb of St. Cacmhan or Cavan, at Cill- 
Chacmhain, now Kilcavan, near Gorey, in the county of "Wexford. This Donnell became the 
most powerful of the Mac Murroughs of Leinster, and attempted to become king of that province; 
but his sister Aoifc, or Eva, the wife of the Earl Strongbow, having proved his illegitimacy, he 
never was able to attain to that dignity. [Sec Hibcrnia Expugnata, lib. i., cc. 3, 10, 17; and 
Annals f tlie Four JTasters, a.d. 1175, note/.] The descendants of this Donnell alone took the 
name of Kavanagh, and the name is not older in this family than his time; nor was the name 
Mac Murrough wholly rejected till after the reign of Queen Elizabeth. 

The O'Caemhains of Ui-Eiaehrach, in Xorth Connaught, who now incorrectly anglicise their 
name Kavanagh, in imitation of the more respectable royal family of Leinster, derive that name 
from Cacmhan (a man's name, signifying comely or handsome, i.e., neacli caomh no dluinn, Keating,) 
who was son of Connmhach, and grandson of Donncatha, king of Connaught in the year 768. [See 
Genealogies, yr., of Ui-Fiachroch, pp. 100, 110, 1:38.] Hence it is clear that eaemhan or caemhanach 
is in no way cognate with the Welsh word caune, strong; and that Spenser's argument is not borne 
out by history, or by analogy of any kind. 

1. I he Mac Mahons of Ulster are said, on the report of some unnamed Irish persons, to be the 
descendants of the Eitz-Ursulas of England. To corroborate this, Spenser says that Mae Mahon is 


synonymous with Fitz -Ursula, i.e., son of the Bear; but granting that the names are synonymous 
for we find that Mathghamhan, a man's name, is explained ursus in a MS. Glossary in Trinity 
College, Dublin, [II. 2, 13.] it does not thence follow that the one is derived from the other; as 
we have stronger reasons to urge than etymological conjecture to prove the utter futility of this 
assumption : first, that the Fitz-Ursulas never settled in Ireland ; and, sceondlj*, that we have the 
testimony of the authentic Irish pedigrees and annals to prove that the Mac Mahons of Ulster had 
been settled in the territory of Oirghialla, or Oriel, and had borne the name of Mac Mathghamhna, 
or Mac Mahons (Glens Matthccorum, as Colgan calls them in Latin) long before the English inva- 
sion. They derive the name of Mac Mathghamhna, i.e., Fitz-Mahon, or Fitz-Matthew, from 
Mathghamhain or Mahon (son of Laidhgncn, son of Cearbhall), lord of Farney, who was slain at 
Clones in the year 1022. \_Annal. Lit.'] This Mahon may have been, in character, a bear, as his 
name denotes, but he certainly was not the same Ursula, or bear, from whom the Fitz-Ursulas of 
England derived their name and descent. [Sec Shirley's Account of Farney, p. 148; and Annals 
of the Four Masters, a.d. 1022.] It may not be out of place here to remark, that Dr. Ilanmer, 
who was Spenser's contemporary, introduces Sir John De Courcy so early as the year 1178 (a long 
time, certainly, before 1385) as fighting against the rebel Mac Mahon in Farney; but in this Dr. 
Ilanmer is nearly as incorrect as Spenser, for Sir John Dc Courcy fought no battle against Mac 
Mahon. Both stories were invented to turn them to account against the Mac Mahons of Farney 
and Oriel, who were very troublesome to the government in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; the one 
to hold them up as objects of hatred to the Irish and English people, as being descended from the 
murderer of St. Thomas a Bccket; and the other to show that they were " irreclaimable savages, the 
readiest of all tbe Irish to kicke and spume at English government." [See Annals of the Four 
Masters, A.D. 1178, note d, and Sir Charles Coote's Statistical Account of Monaghan.~] 

5. The Mac Mahons of Munster. That these are not Fitz-Ursulas, but a family of the highest 
Irish descent, can be proved from their pedigree and consecutive history, which is as certain as that 
of any royal or noble family in Europe. They derive their name and descent from Mathghamhain, 
or Mahon, son of Murtough O'Brien, monarch of Ireland, who died in the year 111'.); who was son 
of 'Furlough O'Brien, king of Ireland, who died in 1080; who was the son of Teige, the only son 
of Brian Borumha who left issue. This fact Sponsor might have learned from many of the Irish 
b;u - ds or " shanachies" of Thomond. After the battle of Kinsale in 101)2. the great Earl of Tho- 
mond, through whose aid that battle was won by the forces of Queen Elizabeth, thought proper to 
put on record, for the use of posterity, the descents of the chief families of Munster. This task he 
executed by the aid of the most learned of the genealogists of Thomond, and the work is now pre- 
served in a folio MS. at Lambeth. \_Careio Collection, No. .50!).] It contains a pedigree of Mac 
Mahon, of Corca-Vaskin, in Thomond, which is traced to the stock of the Karl's own pedigree; 

Mac Mahon descending from Murtough O'Brien, king of Ireland, commonly called "the senior,'' 
Vo].. vi. u 


who died in 1119, as already stated, and the Earl of Thomond from Dermot O'Brien, a younger 
brother of the said Murtough. This MS. affords the highest evidence to show what the tradition 
in Ireland of the descent of the Mac Mahons of Thomond really was in Spenser's time. 

(5. The Mac Swynes or Mac Sweenys of Lister are, according to Spenser, of the English family 
of Sweync; but where is the proof of this? The Irish form of the name is Mac Suibhne, and 
according to the pedigree of the family, they descend from Suibhne (or Suivne), son of Ronan, 
eon of Flaherty O'Xeill, king of Ailcach, who died in the year 1036. This family emigrated to 
Scotland in the eleventh century; but they returned to Ireland about the middle of the thirteenth, 
and became hereditary lenders of "gallowglasses" to the O'Conors of Connaught, as well as to 
O'Doimell, and several other Irish chieftains. The first notice of this family to be found in the 
Irish annals occurs in the year 12G7. 

7. The Mac Swynes of Munster. These arc an offset from the Mac Swynes, or Mac Sweenys, of 
Ulster, who became hereditary gallowglasses to the Earl of Desmond, and to other powerful families 
of Munster in the fifteenth century. 

8. The Mac Sheehys of Munster are of the same race as the Mac Donnells of Scotland, being 
descended from Sitheach, son of Eachdonn, son of Alister, son of Domhnall, who was the common 
ancestor of the Mac Donnells of Scotland. They and the Mac Sweenys would appear to have 
emigrated from Scotland at the same period ; but no notice of the Mac Sheehys occurs in the Irish 
annals previously to the year 1367, when William Mac Sheehy and the two Mac Sweenys are re- 
ferred to as gallowglass leaders in Connaught. At the year 1397, John Mac Sheehy is mentioned 
in connection with Marcus Mac Donnell and Dugald his son, as a leader of gallowglasses in Lower 
Connaught. A branch of them settled in Munster in the year 1420, where they were hereditary 
leaders of gallowglasses to the Earl of Desmond. Their chief residence was the castle of Lisnacullia 
(or Woodford), situated in the parish of Cloonagh, barony of Lower Connello, and county of Lime- 
rick. From various notices of these families in the Irish annals, and from their pedigrees as given 
in Irish MSS., it would appear that the Mac Sweenys, Mac Sheehys, and also Mac Donnells Gal- 
loglagh, who were the chief leaders of O'XciU's gallowglasses, emigrated together from Scotland 
about the year 12.50, at the invitation of O'Xeill, O'Donnell, andO'Conor; and that their descendants, 
afterwards settling in various parts of Ireland, carried the tradition of this emigration with them : 
and it is quite evident that it was from a vague report of this tradition that Spenser drew his 
account of their being originally from England. 

9. The Mac Xamaras of Thomond. How this family came to he considered Mortimers by the 
English literati in Ireland, in the reign of Elizabeth and James, who have mapped the territory 
lying between the Fergus and the Shannon as "Mortimer's Country," it is difficult to determine; 
for it appears from the Caithreim ToirdheaJbhaigh, or "Wars of Turlough O'Brien, that the family of 
the .Mae Samaras, who bore the tribe-name of Li-Caisin and Clann-Choilcain, were the most 


powerful sept in Thomond in aiding the race of Turlough O'Brien to drive De Clare (son of the 
Earl of Gloucester) out of Thomond. They were originally seated in the cantred of the Ui-Caisin, 
the extent of which is preserved in the modern ecclesiastical division called the Deanery of 
Ogashin; but, after the defeat and slaughter of the De Clares in 1318, the family of Mac Xamara 
got possession of nearly the entire of that part of the county of Clare lying to the east of the river 

How the idea originated that this territory had belonged to the family of Mortimer, it is difficult 
to comprehend. Sir Thomas De Clare, son of the Earl of Gloucester, obtained possession of all that 
tract of land extending from Limerick to Ath-solus, in the territory of Tradry, in which he erected 
the castle of Bunratty, in the year 1277; but his family was expelled from this territory in the 
year 1318, and there is no evidence to show that the family of Mortimer ever had any pretension 
to property in Thomond, oven by fiction of law ; so that it is very much to be suspected that this 
notion owes its origin to the mere similarity between the names Mortimer and Mac Xamara : but 
we know now that there exists no more relationship between them than between Muircheartach and 
Mortimer, as proper names of men. The family name Mac Xamara is properly Mac Con-mara, i.e., 
descendant of Cu-mara [literally Dog of the Sea], who flourished about 1060, for his grandfather 
Meanma, chief of the Dalcassian tribe of Ui-Caisin, died in the year 1014, and his grandson 
Cumara Mac Conmara was slain in 1135. But the first of the family of Mortimer who came to 
Ireland was Sir Roger Mortimer, afterwards Earl of March, who was appointed Lord Justice of 
Ireland in the year 1317, and again in 1319. In 1380 Edward, or Edmund Mortimer, Earl of 
March and of Ulster, was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and he died in 1381. In 1395, July 4, Boger 
Mortimer, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, is styled in Harris's List of the Chief Governors of Ireland, 
"Earl of March and Ulster, and Lord of Wigmore, Trim, Clare, and Connaught." He was slain 
at Cill-losnada, now Kelliston, in the county of Carlow, in 1398, in a battle with O'Byrne, O'Nolan, 
and their adherents. How he came to be called Lord of (Tare, or what that title exactly meant, is 
not easy to understand; but, if I be allowed to indulge in conjecture, I would venture to offer the 
opinion that it was merely grounded on the assumption that, as Clare was a part of Connaught, and 
as he was the heir of Elizabeth de Burgo, the great heiress of Ulster and Connaught, he was the 
lord of Clare also that is, of the town of Clare (for there was no county of Clare till 1585), and of 
that part of the territory of Tradry, which bad been given in 1:277 by Brian Boe O'Brien to Sir 
Thomas De Clare. But how Sir Roger Mortimer could have been considered the heir of Sir Thomas 
De Clare, nothing remains to clear up. It is more than probable that this is a fiction of the writers 
of the reign of Elizabeth, and that he never was styled Lord of Clare in his own life-time. Claims 
to obsolete titles in Ireland were set up by English families at various periods. In the reign of 
Edward III., Thomas De Carew set up a claim, as heir of Fitz-Stcphen, to all his ancient estates 
in the kingdom of Cork; but this claim was rejected, as it was found that Fitz-Stcphcn was a bas- 


tard, and died without heir of his body. However, the claim was again set up in 1568 hy Sir 
Peter Carew, who brought his caiise before the Lords of the Council, and came to Ireland fully 
resolved to prosecute the recovery of this ancient estate. Sir Peter laid claim to the barony of 
Idrone, in the county of Carlow, then in possession of the Kavanaghs, and to half the kingdom of 
Cork. This claim was allowed by the government, and Sir Peter was granted a yearly rent out of 
the lands supposed to have belonged to his ancestor, Fitz-Stcphen. Ho died in 1575, appointing 
as liis heir, by his will, Peter Carew, junior, and, in default of issue in him, mentioning, as his 
next heirs, George Carew (afterwards President of Munster and Earl Totncss), and fifteen others 
in England, whom he appoints in remainder. But Sir Peter, junior, was killed by the O'Byrnes, 
at Glenmalure, in 1580, leaving no issue; and as the government evidently saw the illegal nature 
of the claim, the further prosecution of it ended in nothing. [See Annals of Ireland, by Thady 
Dowling, A.D. 1366, 1575; and Cox's Hibernia Anglicana, A.D. 1575.] 

Finally, Spenser's assertion that he was informed by certain Irishmen that most of the surnames 
which end in an were of English origin, as Hernan, Shinan, Mungan, &c, is a most glaring error ; 
for the termination an long is unquestionably Irish, and it is most likely that Spenser did not 
exactly understand what these Irishmen had told him. It is much more probable that what they 
told him was, that all those surnames which ended in un (pronounced oon), among " the meere 
Irish," were of English origin, for this would be the fact; as Hugoon, Suttoon, Dalatoon, Dantoon, 
Baroon, Masoon, &c. This holds good not only in English surnames hibemicized, but also in all 
English words of this termination taken into Irish, such as naisiun, nation; patrun, patron; butun, 
burdun, reasun. 

I have now done with Spenser's fictions about Irish surnames. The delusion will, it is hoped, 
stop here ; and will never again be supported by a great historian like Thierry, or by any writer 
worth naming. Joirx O'Doxovah". 




" Whylome when Ireland flourished in fame 
Of wealth and goodnesse, far above the rest 
Of all that bear the British Islands' name, 
The gods then us'd, for pleasure and for rest. 
Oft to resort thereto, when seem'd them best : 
But none of all therein more pleasure found 
Than Cynthia, that is soveraine Queene profest 
Of woods and forests, which therein abound, 
Sprinkled with wholsom waters more than most on ground." Spenser. 

The author of I7ie Faery Queene loved the woods with a poet's love for the beautiful, the wild, 
and free. Iu the most perfect of his poetic pieces, his Epitlialamium, a joyous ode upon the 
occasion of his own marriage, we meet with the pleasing idea of the woods around his abode echoing 
the shouts, music, songs, and sounds of happiness attendant on his nuptials. One of his sons, 
an offspring of this marriage, he named " Sylvanus," another token of his affection for sylvan 
scenes. It is no slight tribute to the charms of Irish scenery that Edmond Spenser more than once 
warmly celebrates them. Perhaps we do not err in asserting that he is the earliest of English poets 
who evinces an appreciation of the picturesque. Living, as he did in Ireland, on the margin 
of a river, when the banks and surrounding country were either richly clothed with wood, or 
rendered even still more agreeable to a poet's eye by their uncultured and uninclosed state, 
their gorse and heather luxuriance of colouring, he saw indeed, in wood, water, and the purple 
mountains standing like graceful distant wide and lofty ramparts, the noblest elements of landscape 
beauty. In our day, the scenery around Kilcolman is sadly deficient : the hills and the river are 
there, but the woods are gone. 

Let us quit poetry for archasology the two not being always compatible, for the bard exer- 
cises his imagination, while the antiquary seeks truth unadorned. Doubtless, as Spenser says, 
woods and forests abounded in Ireland in his time; but we suspect the abundance was not extreme. 
Our notion of their real extent is formed on some notes made on this subject, which are about to 
be given, in order that the reader may form a sufficiently accurate idea of the sylvan state of green 
Erin in Elizabeth's time. The " Books of Survey and Distribution," compiled in 1657, and the 
maps of the Down Survey, give the exact area of every woodland in the kingdom. "With regard to 
the earlier period, the one selected, it is so because Sir George Carewhas left, in his AISS., brief 
notes of the area or dimensions of some of the old forests of Minister, as they flourished in his 
time. His data, however, mint be regarded as mere rough calculations of the probable square 
measure of those woods, since it certainly was as impossible for him to have computed the actual 


quantity of ground occupied by them as to have counted their trees ; the extent of ground they 
covered having varied in outline, according to incidental circumstances. Again, it is to be ob- 
served that the mile of that time was longer than the measure now so called. Before entering 
into details respecting notable woods in three a of the provinces of Ireland, a brief archaic view may 
be taken of the general topic of " Woods and Fastnesses in Ancient Ireland;" and we shall perceive, 
after even a glance, that trees fill an important part in the history of the Irish Gael. 

Strabo describes the Britons as making their forests " their towns, of which," says he "they fence 
in a large circle with felled trees, and make huts there for themselves, and stables for their cattle ; 
but not for a long time." This last expression gives us an idea of the nomad life of the Britons, 
with which, it may be believed, the life of the Celtic Irish corresponded. Indeed, we find that the 
same wandering unsettled habits were prevalent in Ulster, even so recently as the 17th century; 
many of the people living as " creagMs" that is to say, as septs or sliochts dwelling in common, 
subsisting on the produce of their herd of cattle, with which they wandered along the sides of moun- 
tains and through the woods ; content, during this pastoral existence, with the nightly shelter of 
shearings or huts that an hour or two sufficed to construct. It is probable that the "large circle" men- 
tioned by Strabo closely resembled the pal-lis, or palisadoed rath, the Irish poleis of Ptolemy. That 
famous historic territory, " the Pale," is said to have obtained its name from the fact that the un- 
called villages and towns, within this wide colony of the Englishry, were defended with palisades of 
timber hi military parlance, stockades. Its Gorman appellation, Jo Pal, must have been derived from 
some actual defence of this kind, rather than from an imaginary separation. In 1515 it was recom- 
mended that every village and town in the barony of Kells (co. Meath), that lay " within six miles of 
the wylde Iryshe, be dycheyd and hegcyd strongly about the gates, of tymbre, after the manner of the 
Co. of Kildare, for dredde of fyrc of thcr cnymyes." The settlers in Leinster under Strongbow had, 
of course, taken possession of the champaign naturally the richest land, and artificially the freest 
from wood, "liaghcry ground," the name by which such land was designated, derives its name 
from the Gaelic word machaire, a plain. Prom passages in records, it would seem that the colonists 
in the Tale arrogated the right to all bordering land of this denomination. Long and frequent 
were their contests with the old natives for the possession of the soil; since these enemies lay ever 
around them, in the depths of the dark forests that skirted the horizon, or in the recesses of the blue 
mountains that rose above it. The aspect of Ireland in the 1 6th century must have differed almost 
in toto crdo from the appearance it now presents. The rivers are, indeed, the same that then 
brightened the landscape, and the mountains those that ennobled it ; but the vast untouched tracts 
of forest, and wide wastes of heather, have given place to a multitude of small, ill-fenced fields, not 
too well cultivated, and dotted with habitations, many of which one sees but to hope they will be 
displaced by better. At that early period, the wayfarer instead of, as now, finding but little wood 

a Leinster has already appeared in the Kilkenny Archaeological Journal, 


visible from the highway save "plantations," which never look sylvan found the level plains so 
overrun with natural wood that the few roads of the time, necessarily avoiding mountains and 
morasses, had been cut through forests, but were closed in many places by the rapid growth of 
underwood. The remedy ordained by the parliament of 1297 for overcoming this serious impedi- 
ment is curiously set forth in the following clause : 

" The Irish enemy, by the density of the woods, and the depth of the adjacent morasses, assume 
a confident boldness; the king's highways arc in places so overgrown with wood, and so thick and 
difficult, that even a foot passenger can hardly pass. Upon which, it is ordained that every lord of 
a wood, with his tenants, through which the highway was anciently, shall clear a passage where 
the way ought to be, and remove all standing timber as well as underwood." b 

Giraldus Cambrensis states that the woodlands of Ireland exceeded the plain, or cleared and open 
land. After the partial conquest of the natives, these great forests became the fastnesses and abodes of 
such septs and clans as retained their independence, and were to them what castles were to the Xonnan 
barons; for the Irish were accustomed to improve the impregnable character of a wood by cutting down 
trees on both sides of passages through it, casting some in the way, forming breast- work with others, and 
plashing or interlacing the lower branches of standing trees with the undergrowth. It may 
be safely asserted that, for three centuries subsequent to the invasion, a troop of the colonial cavalry 
could not ride twenty miles in any direction, when in chase of their turbulent and destructive 
enemies, without finding the pursuit obstructed by a wood, which instantly served as a redoubt to the 
fugitives. Such having been the extent of the sylvan shelter into which the Gaels retired before 
the invaders fortifying every path in their ingenious manner, and righting bravely in defence of 
it, while ever and anon they sallied out and plundered the Saxon colonists wc may conceive that 
the forests presented the greatest obstacle to a complete conquest of the country, and that the efforts 
of the settlers were constantly directed to their destruction. It was repeatedly declared that 
" the Irish could not be tamed while the leaves were on the trees ;" implying both that woods 
sheltered them from their enemies, and that the foliage and summer's grass supported their 
horses and cattle; so that "the best service that could be done," to quote the phrase of the day, 
was to attack the wild foe in the winter, and cut and burn down their thickets. Abundant evidence 
could be adduced from our archives that the Norman sway was almost paramount in Ireland during 
the century that succeeded the invasion. The Gaelic race, even in the centre of Ulster, were then 
in tolerable subjection. Still, the extensive woods throughout the island formed safe retreats to 
clans that were driven from the cleared and fertile tracts, and long continued to be the resort of pre- 
datory marauders. This evil became greatly aggravated after the invasion of the Bruces, when the 
natives yearly grew in strength; an invasion, indeed, induced by the very cries of the Gaels from 
their wretched retreats. In their address, at this period, dated 1318, to Tope John XXII., 
they describe themselves as driven from their hereditary lands and former spacious habitations, 

: Sir V . lii'iliaiii'; (', nstit, of Enirltiml, \\ LY.U, 


and compelled, for safety of their lives, to seek shelter in mountains, forests, bogs, and other 
barren places, and even in the caverns of the rocks, like wild beasts ; while the borders or 
marches between them and their enemies were not one definite line, dividing the country into two 
parts, but were interspersed throughout the whole island, wherever the barrenness of the soil 
caused it to be unoccupied by those enemies, or where the strength of the fastnesses deterred them. 
Owing to the fact that the lands of the two opposing parties everywhere intermingled, and were 
without fixed boundaries, border war lasted for centuries throughout the length and breadth of 

Of instances in which the impregnability of Gaelic fastnesses enabled their hardy occupants 
to hold out against the foe, one of the most remarkable is the case of the O'Conors of Con- 
naught, the "Sil-ilurray," sliocht, or seed, of Muiredhach. At the period of the invasion, 
Roderic O'Conor, as is well known, was monarch of Ireland. His successors withstood the 
conquering advances of the Xormans by means of forest and mountain retreats, from whence 
all the chivalry that could be mustered by De Burgh, feudal Baron of Connaught and Earl of 
Ulster, was not able to expel them. In 1305, a legal inquiry was held at Castlcdcrmot, at the re- 
quest of the Earl, respecting his title to a certain territory, containing two baronies and a half, in 
Outer Connaught, when it was found, by verdict of the jury, that " if those parts were cleared of 
Irish, their value would be 250 marks yearly; but that this expulsion could not be effected without 
a great power {tnagno posse) of the king's men, and incalculable expenses, exceeding the value of 
the said land, and principally because the said O'Conoghur is one of the five chieftains of the Irish."' 
As one of the five kings of the ancient national dynasties, O'Conor would have been supported by a 
large clannish and half-feudal force. So long as the Irish kept in their woods and fastnesses, they 
were safe enough; for it was only when they risked battle in the field that they were overcome by 
the more disciplined forces of their opponents, as at Athenry, where the Sil-Murray were nearly 

Let us here notice some English and Irish sylvan etymologies. " Field" signified originally cleared 
or ft I I'd ground. "Weald," a wild, or wilderness, equivalent to the Gaelic fassagh, is derived from 
the German icald, the root of our word, wood. Ghana is Irish for a glen, or wooded vale, equiva- 
lent to the English dene, Scottish dean (as in Hazeldean), and found in the name of the wood of 
Ardcn, in Warwickshire, and perhaps that of Ardennes, in Hainault. 

During the reign of Elizabeth, when the Irish sword of state was no idle emblem in the hand 
of the governor, it was of deep political moment, as will be presently seen, that English axes 
should be busily at work in the woods. The historian of Tyrone's rebellion observes that "Ulster, 
and the western parts of Munstcr, yield vaat woods, in which the rebels, cutting up trees, and 

c West Connaught, p. 101. 


casting them on. heaps, used to stop the passages." It was perhaps a social evil of no less magni- 
tude, that almost every large wooded glen bordering on the Englishry held a nest of human wasps, 
the Irish "wood-kerne," who lived by robbing the neighbouring colonists. The most cogent 
reasons, therefore, urged the destruction of woods. Still, even so recently as when the troops that 
entered Ireland under Cromwell, on being disbanded, settled down in districts over almost the 
entire island, many ancient woods remained in their pristine grandeur. To call up but a single 
witness; Lady Eanshawe, who landed at Youghal, passed through the west, and sailed from 
Galway, having spent a year in this kingdom just before the usurper entered, observes, in her 
interesting Memoirs, that this country " exceeded in timber." The shock of the Restoration 
shook down many of those old woods. During the uncertainty felt by the Cromwellian 
settlers as to retaining'their hold of the land, they realised what they could by stripping it of 
its feathers; and, subsequently, the vengeful dryads of the departed groves appeared to them 
in the shapes of " tories" and " rapparees." A similar political earthquake in 1G88 caused the 
fall of many more thousands of tall trees. The trustees of the estates then forfeited, notice in 
their report " the general waste committed on the forfeited woods" by the grantees, on receiving 
possession; "particularly on those of Sir Valentine Browne," around the Likes of Killarncy, 
" where to the value of 20,000 has been cut down and destroyed." The waste by simultaneously 
cutting clown, and glutting the market with, the extensive woods in the late Earl of Clan- 
carty's territory was computed at no less than 27,000. "So hasty," wrote the trustees, 
" have several of the grantees, or their agents, been in the disposition of the forfeited woods, that 
vast numbers of trees have been cut and sold for not above six pence a-piece." They add : "The 
like waste is still continuing in many parts of this kingdom, and particularly on the lands of Feltrim, 
within six miles of Dublin, and the woods of O'Shaghnessy, in the county of Galway, purchased 
for about 2,500, which were valued to above 12,000." In 1616, Richard Milton obtained 
Letters Patent licensing him to cut timber, except such as had been marked by the king's officers 
for the use of the navy, for making pipe-staves, clap-boards, &c, and to export the same, for 21 

Dr. Boate, in his Natural History of Ireland, accounts for the diminution of timber " by the in- 
credible quantity consumed in the iron works, and by the exportation of pipe-staves in whole 
ship-loads." Neither the English colonels whom Cromwell metamorphosed into Irish landlords, 
nor the Dutchmen whom "William of Orange rewarded with Irish soil, regarded their new forests 
with much liking; even their successors do not seem to have looked on their woods as 
ancestral inheritances, since the same recklessness was common in the days of Swift, who 
remarks, in his 7th Drapiers Letter: "1 believe there is not another example in Europe of 
such a pi'odigious quantity of excellent timber cut down in so short a time, with so little ad- 
vantage to the country either in shipping or building." " Trees are an excrescence provided by 


nature for the payment of debts," according to Sir Jonah Barrington, who quotes this saying as the 
sentiment of the "Teat Irish landlords of his day. Obviously, there is no infallible preservative for 
the old timber of an estate during the lordships of several successive heirs, one of whom, however 
lofty his genealogic tree, may prove a 

" Foe to the dryads of his fathers' groves." 
Perhaps it is not erroneous to believe that, whatever may have actuated Irish proprietors, a large 
majority of English and Scottish landlords, during the last fifty years, have been planters, and the 
cases of " cutters-down" but few: at least, one does not hear of such flagrant instances as are 
alluded to in the following passage in a letter from "Walpole, the wit, to Mason: "When the 
forests of our old barons were nothing but dens of thieves, the law in its wisdom made them un- 
alienable. Its wisdom now thinks it very fitting that they should be cut down to pay debts at 
Almack's and Newmarket. I was saying this to the lawyer I carried down with me. He answered, 
' The law hates a perpetuity.' ' Not all perpetuities,' said I; 'not those of lawsuits.' " 


Our province of Ulster, not the part of Ireland least civilised in Queen Victoria's days, was styled by 
statute in Queen Elizabeth's time, "the most perilous place in all the isle." Its fastnesses, which we 
shall presently enumerate and briefly describe, were peculiarly strong, consisting, for the most part, of 
islands, natural and artificial, in lakes a species of fortress so special to our ancient province that 
we propose to devote some future paper to this particular subject. Primevally, using this term in 
its historic sense, the entire district now called Ulster was, without doubt, densely wooded. The 
name Uladh, Scandinavice Ulster, was anciently confined to a very circumscribed part, namely, the 
present County of Down, of which Machaire Uladh was the plain or open country. It was in this 
"Maghery ground," to use the term employed by the Englishry of the Pale, that the colonists under Sir 
John de Courcy settled. At the time Shane O'Neill assumed his despotic sway, it was almost impossible, 
by reason of the danger, for an undisguised Englishman to enter the province by land. The natural 
strength of the territory was the principal cause that had enabled the nati re Gael to maintain their 
liberty so long. It was vulnerable, indeed, on three sides, by sea ; but not until Drake and Ran- 
dolph carried the flag of St. George around the northern shore, did soldiers bearing the red cross 
conquer the country once defended by the "Knights of the Red Branch." A glance at the map 
of Ireland will show the long and strong lines of waters that were natural and broad fosses of 
defence against southern invasion. Indeed, there were but two roads into Ulster, namely, the 
passage by Carrickmacross, thence called "the gap of the North," and the historically famous 
"Pass," by Magh-rath, or Moiry. From the former place to Belturbet, the country was nearly 
impassable, owing to its network of bogs, lakes, and mountains ; while the river and lakes of the 


Erne, compassed with great woods (as Moryson observed), formed a complete barrier as far as 
the Atlantic. "Whenever English troops succeeded in penetrating to the centre of Ulster, they 
found it a jungle. In 1542, the Earl of Tyrone's country is described as not containing one single 
"castell," wherein any of the king's army might reside securely " in case the Earl were clearly 
banished;" "not yet one town walled, nor other hold; but full of wooddes, grete boggis, and 
waters, called here loughes, which be some of them twenty myles in length, so that hard it wold be 
to have the same inhabited, without great charge, and peril of those who should inhabit the same." 
The Earl, while yet bearing the title of the O'Neill, had consented, by articles, that "all and singular 
the thickets, groves, and woods, lying between his country and the bordering Englishry, should be 
cut down, and made plain land." d Axes were doubtless kept going all around the confines oi 
O'Neill's country, and within them also, from that year, 1541, until a century afterwards, 1641 ; 
yet there is ample testimony to show that the least accessible parts, such as Glenconcan (in Deny) 
and Killultagh (in Down) remained, not indeed untouched, but with their woody nature as little 
extirpated as was the Irish race. 

Sir George Carew gives the following brief note of: 


Glcnbrasell, by Lougheaugh, a great boggy and wooddy fastnes. 

Glencan, a boggy and wooddy contry, environed with two rivers, viz., the Blackwater and 
the Ban. 

Killultagh, a safe, boggy, and wooddy contry, upon Logh Eaugh. 

Kilwarlen, the like bounden together. 

Kilautrey, lying between Kilwarlen and Locale. 

Glanconkeyne, on the river Ban's side, in U'Chane's country, the chief fastnes and refuge of the 

Clanbrassil and O'Ncilland were woodlands in the time of Sir II. Bagenal ; and formed the prin- 
cipal settlement and fastness of the O'Neills. 

It was on the border of these marshes that Shane O'Neill formed his safest fastness, thus 
mentioned after his death in a letter from lord-treasurer Winchester to lord- deputy Sidney, congra- 
tulating the successful viceroy on the fierce chief being " delivered from his evil doings;'' and 
adding, "you shall do vcric well to see Shane's lodgeings in the fen, where he built his lodging, and 
kept his cattell and all his men." This stronghold seems to have been the insular artificial fort 
named Fucd-na-Gull, in the south-west of Lough Neagh, a description of which, with accounts of 
other celebrated Lister fastnesses, would be very acceptable, and gratefully acknowledged. 

Clancan was easily defended on account of its insular position. 

Killultagh ( Coill- Vltarh, the wood of the Lister men?), probably so called from being the abode of 
the Gaels of I 'hidh, when this name was eon lined to the country east of the Banu. In 1573 Lord Essex 

(1 Printed S P vol III., pp :5,V>, 377. 


wrote that he was joined by "the Captain of Killulto," who, with his elan, "lay in the woods of 
Killulto;" and the earl describes the country as " a woodland and strong fastness." That this 
forest was at one period not merely the fastness, but one of the especial dwelling-places, of the 
eastern O'Neill's, appears from the statement in a recommendation of lolu, that fresh English 
colonists be sent into Ulster, in order that "all the noble issue of Hugh Boye Oneyll be avoyded 
clere and expulsed from the Greene Castell to the Bann, and be assygneyd and sufferyd to have 
ther habytation and dwelling in the greate forest Keylultagh and in the Pheux, whichc habytations 
and placeis they bathe, and dwelleyth ofte before mice hj compulsion." Sir G. Carew states, in 
another MS. (No. 617) that this forest had been let to the clan of Yellow Hugh, before the murder 
of the Earl of Ulster, for one hundred pounds a- year. 

Kilwarlin, (or Coill-icarlin,) with its strong island retreat, Innisloughan, was the fastness of 
M c Gennis; and, being joined to "the wood of the Ulster men," added much to the strength of this 
ancient native stronghold. 

"Killoutrey" is Coill-uachtrach, the upper wood. 

Glenconcan, (or Glcann-coneadhain ,) a broad, deep, and beautiful vale, bounded on the south by 
the remarkable mountain of Sliabh Gullain, or Siiav Gallion, and on the north by the Dungiven 
and Banagher mountains. Anciently, it was the best fastness in the north, being adjacent to the 
forest of Coill-iochtrach, or the lower wood, and to Sliav Gallion, the skirts of which were described 
as all rock and bog for a circuit of forty miles. Carew calls it the chief refuge of the Scots, 
because the M'Honnells made it their retreat whenever military expeditions were undertaken by 
the viceroy to drive them out of Ireland. It belonged, however, more immediately to the O'Neills, 
and was the safest fastness of the Earl of Tyrone during his rebellion. Sir Henry Dockwra calls 
this district "the Glynns," and describes it as covered with thick wood for twenty miles in length 
and ten in breadth; and speaks of the earl as lying impenetrably encamped in it, "plasht all about 
with trees :" and Sir Josias Bodley speaks of the subsequent fighting with Tyrone in his woods of 
Glenconcan. On the flight and attainder of the insurgent lord, and the sequestration of his estate, 
the intelligent Sir John Davys writes in 1G08: 

"From Dungannon we passed into the county of Colraine, through the Glinnes and woods oi 
Clanconkeyn, where the wild inhabitants did as much wonder to see the lord deputy, as Virgil's 
ghosts did to see iEneas alive in hell. But his lordship's [the viceroy's] passing that way was of 
good importance two ways for his majesty's service; for both himself and all the officers of his 

army have discovered that unknown fastnes ; and also the people of the country, knowing their 
i'astues to be discovered, will not trust so much therein as heretofore, which trust made them pre- 
sume to commit so many thefts, murders, and rebellions: for assuredly they presumed more upon 
our ignorance of their country than upon their own strength." 

Davys then wrote to the English government to suggest that "the great forest of Gleneonkeyn, 

well nigh as large as the New Forest in Hampshire, and stored with the best limber," should be re- 


tained as a reserve for the royal navy. But as it was important to the peace of Ulster that this vast 
shelter for rebels and robbers should be destroyed, and more suitable that its oaks, in place of being 
used in building "wooden walls" for England, should be employed in erecting a town whose walls 
would prove a "chief fastness and refuge" to colonists in the North of Ireland, the king, in 1609, 
gave permission to cut down 50,000 oak-trees at 10s. a piece, 100,000 ash-trees at 5s., and 10,000 
elms at Gs. 8d., for the purpose of building Londonderry. The total value of the timber cut, 
amounting to 53,033 6s. 8d., an enormous sum at that time, proves the great extent of valuable 
timber the forest contained. 

Some other woods in Ulster require brief notice. The Dufferin \_Dubh-thrian, the black third], 
was the wood)- part of the territory of the Cinel-Artaigh, belonging to M c Artan, and also partly occu- 
pied in the 15th century by M c Quillin, whose " creaght" was attacked here by O'Xeill in 1433. It 
is therefore probable that it was here, rather than in the woods of Kilnasaggart, that Edward lirucc 
seized the creaghts of those chieftains, as mentioned by Barbour, the Scottish poet. 

Old maps show a large wood near Omagh; and Dockwra describes the pass through it as being a 

mile long, having "high oaken timber" on either side, and as the scene of an engagement in which 

Sir Cahir O'Doghcrty was knighted for loyal bravery- He also describes the country of the Slcught 

Art, a sept of the O'Xeills, near Castle Dorg, as being 16 miles long, and for the most part bog and 

wood, llosamore, the great wood on the border of Lough Boss, in iMonaghan, is remarkable as 

having been the retreat of Edward Bruce and his troops at the time the Earl of Ulster and Viceroy ' 

Butler were marching with two armies in search of those invaders, of whom the metrical narrator, 

Barbour, says : 

" Till a <rrot forest cmno thai, 
Kylroso it hat [called] as Ik hard say-" 

The " Glens of Antrim," that singular district which, during the middle ages, was inhabited by 
alien races of Scandinavian Scots, who were frequently hired to fight in the civil wars throughout 
Ireland, must have then been densely clothed, throughout its vales, with wood. When the sons of 
John Cahanach M Donald, lord of the isles, concealed themselves in these glens, their more powerful 
enemy, a chief of their name, "hearing of their hiding places, went to cut down the woods of those 
glens, in order to extirpate their whole race." 6 

The district of the " Bheux," (the Fiodha, or Lewes of Armagh.) bordering on the Bale, and in- 
habited by a sept of the O'Xeills, (who, as Marshal Bagenal states, " were accustomed to live much 
on the spoile of the Bale,") were the dread of all English travellers into the North; as "the Basse" 
up to Xewry lay through these woods, which were always infested by robbers. Moryson mentions 
"the Pass of Leddom." Shane O'Xeill, at the outset of his usurpation of Ulster, took up his abode 
in these woods for tie: special purpose of preventing British subjects from passing northward. Under 

Note to !' ur M is*, rs. p. 1 - U 

15 1 

the well-known names of " Inverniullane " and " the Moiry pass," the passage of these woods 
by armies during war is celebrated in history. These " Fewes" were the special resort of an Irish 
"Hob Hoy," the renowned "Count Hanlon," to check whose highway exploits a barrack, capable 
of containing two companies of foot, was erected in them. Yet the bold Count contrived to make 
tho military subservient to his purpose; for, having slain several of the soldiers, he put their uni- 
forms on bis men, and, until the trick became notorious, many a traveller suffered by it. 

The ancient wood-kerne, bands of outlaws and "guerillas," closely resembling the cate- 
rans of the Scottish Highlands, "living," as stated by OTlagherty, "in woods in a barbarous 
manner, and subsisting on depredations," the predecessors of torics, rapparecs, and highwaymen, 
have been already mentioned; but it maybe noted that those of Ulster were the most consummately wild 
and daring of the whole national fraternity. The northern Gaels are indeed well known to have sur- 
passed the southern in warlike qualities. These outlawed banditti were "the wylde Irish," so 
dreaded by English colonists, and whose havoc and slaughterings almost paralysed the settlement 
in central Ulster prior to the outbreak in 1641. It may be said that every great glen or wooded 
vale throughout the kingdom was the heritable haunt of a clann or race, who were "the old evil 
children of the wood," as a marauding southern tribe was called. Indeed, to these wretched pariahs 
of a land, tbo noblest of whose Gaelic race gloried in making war on and despoiling the Saxon, 
and in which the arts of peace were almost altogether confined to the enemy, there was nothing left 
but to continue their hereditary course of life. The desperate recklessness of the wood-kerne 
robbers in this respect became proverbial in an antique Irish " rhyme," the gist of which is, that if 
their lives were lost in any excursion in quest of cattle, their children, " when their teeth grew," 
might betake themselves to the Glynns, as their fathers had done before them ! 


In the south-west of this province lay the five great forests that formed the natural fast- 
nesses of the Earls of Desmond, those strongholds in which these lords so trusted; for it was the 
possession of these retreats, which they were confident were almost impregnable, that led to their 
frequent revolts against any superior authority. Glcngarriff and Killarney, at one period the least 
accessible of these mountain holds, are now visited at case by " the million," and reward con- 
noisseurs of the picturesque, however far travelled, with a wild yet perfect beauty that may claim 
to he unsurpassed by any scenes to which these miniature ones may fairly be compared. 

During the height of the last Earl of Desmond's rebellion, in 1579, Sir "Warham St. Leger wrote 
to Lord Burleigh, that "the scope of the Geraldincs' range includes the Great A\ r ood, Aharlogh, 
Dromfynine, Glanmore, and Glanflesk, which are their chief fortresses;" and he proposed to employ 
a force of 1,000 English soldiers, besides the army already in the field under the Earl of Ormond, 


to protect labourers in hewing down and burning these woods. Philip O'Sullevan mentions that 
the Irish troops, in retreating after the battle of Kinsale, weak with wounds and hunger, were 
actually attacked by wolves that issued out on them from the woods. 

The following is a note by Sir George Carew of " the length and breadth of the "Woodds and 
Fastnesses in Munster : 

Glangarriff, in O'Swilivan More's country, 4 miles long and 2 broad. 
Glanrought, in Desmond, 3 long and 2 broad. 
Leanmore, in do., 3 do. and 3 do. 
Clenglas and Kilniore, in the co. Limerick, 12 do. and 7 do. 
Dromfynine, in the co. Cork, on the Blackwater, 6 do. and 2 do. 
Arlogh and Muskiyquircke, in Tipperary, 9 do. and 3 do. 
Kilhuggv, in Tipperary, bordering on Limerick, 10 do. and 7 do. 
Glenilesk, 4 do. and 2*do." 

Glengarriff \_Glcann-garbh, the rough glen], the large rocky and wooded vale that opens into 
Ban try Bay, was, as the Gaelic annalists wrote, " one of 0' Sullivan's most impregnable retreats." 
Surrounded by lofty and precipitous hills, save where the sea enters, forming an inland bay of 
winding shape and exquisite beauty, Glcngariff, with its verdant glades, interspersed with masses of 
rock and groves of varied foliage, presents from its heights a scene that, uniting woods and rivers, 
and contrasting dark, steep, and rugged mountains with the calm, bright, island-studded bay and 
distant ocean, hardly yields to the finest view in Killarney. 

Glanerough [the glen of the river Roughty], near Kenmare. The Englishry of Cork, in the time 
of Henry VI., when the Clan Carthy had repossessed themselves of the land round the very walls 
of the city, referred retrospectively in their letter to Edmond Plantagenet, Earl of Rutland and 
Cork, then lord chancellor of Ireland, to that period of triumph after the first conquest of Munster, 
when " all the Irishmen were driven into the great vallie called Glanehought, betwixt the two 
great mountains called Maccort [Mangcrton] and the Leapers' Island, and then lived long on their 
white moats," until feuds between the conquering lords enabled them, as they gained in numbers 
and strength, to spread themselves once more over the fertile territories wrested from their ancestry. 

Leanmore [the fastness of Loch Lean or lake of Killarney] derives its name from the Leamhain 
or Leune river, whence the lake, like Loch Levcn in Scotland, was named. The woods on Slier Tore 
still abound in red deer; and the Gaelic name of the mountain designates that it was anciently 
famous for wild boars, as Jfuck-ross [the swine promontory] was for fattening the porcine breed 
on its acorns. Loch Lean was the best stronghold of McCarthy-more, as Lochow, in the Highlands, 
of a yet more powerful chief, M c AUan-more. During grand stag-hunts, the Irish lord usually took 
his station on a rocky eminence on Tore mountain, near the gap of Dunlo, to enjoy the spectacle of 
the chase; and, when the deer made for the gap, as they generally did, he descended with his men, 
intercepted the stateliest quarries, and often struck them down with his spear. A daughter of one 


of these chk-fs, the Baroness of Kerry, is described by the annalists as, during the Geraldine rebel- 
lion, " passing her last days upon the lake, moving from one island to another," for fear of robbers. 

The tsvo sylvan districts of Clenglas and Kilmore formed amass of wood which, with the exception 
of Glenconkeyn, was the largest forest in Ireland. Claon-ghlais, now anglicised Clonlish, a wild 
district in the south-west of Limerick, was, when dense with wood, the first gathering-place of 
James Fitz -Maurice in his outbreak of 1579; and here perished miserably his companion, Dr. 
Saunders, the papal legate. The name of " Jhon of the Grene "Wode," which appears on the map 
of Ireland made in 1572 for Sir Thomas Smith, Colonel of the Ards, was probably that of John 
Fitz-Gerald, chief of a Geraldine clan that possessed Claenglais, "the green retreat." 

Another chieftain of Geraldine race, John Fitz-Gibbon, was lord of Coill-mhor [the great wood], 
now Kilmore, a barony in the County of Cork, and in modem times a well-known haunt of in- 

Dmim-Finghin [i.e. Fincen's ridge,] divides the two baronies of Decies. Gerald, the 16th 
Desmond, is described as, during his rebellion of 1582, passing and repassing from the shelter 
afforded by this wood to that of Aharlagh and Coill-an-choigidh, and from thence sending out his 
men to lay waste the lands of his enemy Ormond. 

Gleann-Eatlierlacli is the Gaelic name of "Arlogh," now called "Harlow," the most renowned 
forest in the south, as having been the principal fastness of the western Gcraldines during rebellion, 
and rendered famous from being frequently celebrated by Edmond Spenser. ""Who knows not 
Arlohill ?" asked the poet, declaring that it was 

" Of old the best and fairest hill 
That was in all this Holy Island's hight:" 

and that, whenever Diana visited Erin to chase the deer, her favourite resorts were 

" All those fairo forrests about Arlo hid ; 
And all that mountaine, which doth overlooke 
The richest champain that may else be rid." 

In later ages, Mars and Mercury were the presiding deities. During the protracted war between 
James Fitzmaurice and the English forces, the wily chieftain, if overmastered by numbers, generally 
rctreated with his men into this easily defended wood, and either fought a flying skirmish through 
it, or succeeded in daunting his pursuers from following him. The annalists describe his horse- 
troopers, after the sack of Kilmallock, in 1571, as being occupied for three days and nights in 
carrying the spoils of the town " to the woods and forests of Eatharlach," and then so completely 
destroying the town that it became the abode of wolves. 

The following "description of Arlough wood" was given by Sir Warham St. Leger, lord presi- 
dent of Minister, in 1580, at the time this extensive tract was a vantage-ground to the rebel 
Dr-mionians: " It eontevnefh in length three miles, in breadth six miles, distant from Limerick, 


south by est, sixteen miles ; situated betwixt two mountains south and north ; the south mountain 

being a marvelous high mountain called Slivegrote ; the north mountain (being far lower) is called 

Slicvenemuckigh. The lands invironing it on the south and west is the White Knight's countrie 

in the counties of Tipperary, Corck, and Lymerick ; on the north the Burghe's countrie called 

Clainleame, in the county of Tipperary; on the estMuskric Querck, also in the county of Tipperary: 

And as the same Arlough is altogether wood between the twoe mountains, so there is a ry ver from 

the west to the est of the said wood, dividing them almost equallye in the middest of the vallye, 

untill the said river, through Muskrie Corck on the est, falleth into the river of Sure that leades 

to Waterford." 

Gleann-Eatliarlacli seems to have owed its scrviccableness as a fastness to its proximity to numerous 

lurking-places afforded by the ravines and caves of the surrounding mountains, and to the niirv 

nature of the ground among its dense thickets, alluded to by Spenser when comparing it to his poetic 

" salvage wood" in "Astrophel:" 

" So wide a forest and so waste as this. 
Nor famous Ardeyn, nor fowle Arlo, is." 

In these hiding-places, the " sugane" Earl of Desmond long attempted to elude pursuit, shifting 
from one to another; but was at length taken in a cavern in Slicve Grot. 

"Kilhuggy" \_Coill-an-choigidli, the wood of the province], anglicised "Kilqucgg," was the 
bleak place in which the 16th Geraldine Earl kept a cold Christmas in 1582. Glenflesk, the wooded 
valley of the river Elesk, was the country of O'Donoughue of the Glens, chief of a branch of the 

Besides the foregoing forests, Carcw, in another document, enumerating the "Eyries of Hawks 
sequestered after Desmond's rebellion," notices other woods, viz., " Bcynyss, in Kennalc ; Boss 
y-Donoughow," (now Lord Kenmare's seat, at Ivillarney); "Dungcrott; Dunbekan, in Carbery;" 
Lord Condon's woods; and " Clanmauricc woods;" in all which there were eyries of those prized 
means of sport falcons and goshawks. These substitutes for " fowling-pieces" were only part of 
the delicice afforded by our woods to the ancient sportsman; who, be it observed, if, like Chaucer's 
yeoman, "of wood-craft could he well all the usage," found in their deer, wolves, tree-birds, &c, 
plentiful objects for the indulgence of his manly pursuits. 

After the destruction of the lGth Desmond, a document was presented to the Queen, giving a list 
of "such lands as have tymbre-trcos fit for building of shipps, to be reserved for her majesty's 
use" in the grants of the forfeited estates of the Earl and his adherents, viz. : 

" The lands and castle of Strancally, standing towards the mouth of the brode water by Yoghall. 
" The lands of Condon, adjoining to the brode water. 

"The land- adjoining to Macollop, if any wav they may belong to vour majesty, and Macol- 
lop itself. 

"The lands and woods called Lisfinnin, sometyme belonging to Sir John of Desmond and others. 

VOL. VJ. x 


" The lands and tvnibre woods of Lismore, scituat nerc the brode water, with all other woods 
lvin" within four miles of the said brode water, or uppon any of the branches of the said river, 
which shall be fitt to convey tymbre to the mouth of the same." 

The "brode water" is, of course, the Black water, of which Spenser wrote 
" Alio hight Broad water called farre." 

Payne, the English " undertaker," stated in 1589 that there was much good timber in many places 
in this province, and that it was so straight and so easy to rive, that a woodsman with a brake-axe 
could easily cleave a great oak into boards, which, at 15 foot long and 14 inches broad, by 1 thick, 
were sold at the low rate of 2|d. each. In this year the value of the oak on the forfeited lands in 
Munster was again pressed on the notice of government; and it was recommended that a high 
steward should be appointed over the royal manors in Ireland, who should also be "wood- ward 
and chief forester" in this province. But neither this proposition, nor the recommendation of the 
foregoing state paper, (the original of which has some notes in the autograph of Lord Burleigh,) were 
attended to when the grants of the forfeited lands were made. Richard Boyle, afterwards Earl of 
Cork, who is remarkable for having acquired a vast estate, (which was obtained, however, in a manner 
very different from that described by himself,) and who is justly celebrated for the great improvements 
he effected, bargained with Sir Walter Raleigh, at the time of the attainder of that chivalrous adven- 
turer, to buy his grant of 12,000 acres for the inconsiderable price of 1,500, (of which only a 
third was paid,) and immediately began cutting down the woods; in imitation of a notorious 
English usurer of the day, who inveigled men into selling him their estates, and afterwards 
sold the timber so profitably that it paid for the land; making, as he said, "the feathers pay for 
the goose." Boyle joined in partnership with one Henry Pyne in purchasing the woods be- 
longing to Lord Condon, the Anglo-Irish owner of a barony named from his family. These part- 
ners also bought the timber property of other native lords and chieftains, whose simplicity, or 
ignorance of the market, or perhaps, as in the cases of Raleigh and Condon, impending attainders, 
led them, as was said of similar sales, to part with what was worth thousands for a song. The 
attention of government in England had been frequently drawn to the public value of the vast 
quantity of oak then existing in Ireland; and in 1608 one Philip Cottingham was sent over to 
survey the woods, and report what amount of timber he found suitable to build ships for the 
royal navy. This surveyor does not seem to have inspected any woods beyond those in the counties 
of Waterford and Wexford ; and, in September, he wrote to the secretary of state, from Mogeely 
Castle, stating that he had examined the woods belonging to Sir Richard Boyle, and that, although 
the best and most accessible timber had been cut down for pipe-staves and planks, there still 
remained much that was valuable for ship-building ; and he adds that the woods called " Kilbarrow" 
and " Kilcorran," in the county of Waterford, were at that time being cut by Boyle, who had also 
purchased the forests of Glcngarriff and Glenlawrence, in Desmond, with a vieAV to their sale. The 


destruction that was taking place in the principal forests in Ireland, in which noble oaks, fit to 
construct ships that would " cany Britain's thunder o'er the deep," were riven up to make barrels, 
aroused the attention of viceroy Chichester; and he drew up a despatch, setting forth in another 
public and unusual point of view, the ill effects of the purchases made by Boyle and his fellow 
speculators. After mentioning that a pretended right was advanced to certain woods in Dowallo, 
the country of O'Donoughue, by Sir Richard Boyle, (who was in such favour that the viceroy 
merely ventured to hint he was a grasper of lands,) and stating that fifty-six tons of Irish timber 
were about to be sent up the Thames as a specimen, though merchants would not then give 13s. 4d. 
a ton for it, the lord deputy concludes with this significant passage : 

"There are forests in this kingdom of many thousand acres, some principal ones of which ought 
to be reserved for the use of the Crown, and not wasted, as they now arc, by private men, who 
purchase them for trifles, or assume them upon tricks and devices from the simple Irish, who per- 
haps have no good title to sell them, or at least know not what they sell. But, finding that private 
subjects, as mean or meaner than themselves, do for the most part make extraordinary profit of 
their folly, they oftentimes fall into discontent, and from discontent into rebellion, when the king 
must be at the charge of its suppression." 

Dr. Boate, in his Natur 'all History of Ireland, in giving an account of the woods formerly flourishing 
in this country, notices the great havoc made of those in Munster by the first Earl of Cork. 


This province does not seem at any time to have been remarkable for forests ; their extended 
growth having probably been hindered by the mountainous nature of the country, and its proximity 
to the Atlantic. But in no other part of Ireland were the aborigines sheltered from attack by fast- 
nesses rendered stronger by a complication of rivers, lakes, mountains, and bogs. 

Under the year 1210, the Four Masters write of "the wilderness of Kinel-Dofa," the ancient 
name of a territory in Roscommon, which contained the largest woods in the province. 

Sir George Carew's list is as follows : 


The woods and boggs of Kilbighcr. 
Killcallon, in Mae William's contry. 
Killaloa, in county of Leitrim. 
The woods and boggs near the Corleus." 

The first name cannot bo traced. The second, probably, is the "Forest of Kcllclon," figured on 
Lithe' s map of Connaught (dated about 1572) as situated in the country of Mac William Burke, of 
Mayo. Besides this extended sylvan district, the map delineates several other forests in the pro- 
vince; as in Clancostcllo, Achill, Sligo, Leitrim, and near Roscommon. About this period the 


Bourkes of Mayo and O'Flahertys of Connemara were declared to possess a stronger country than 
any other clan in Ireland. Their territories were indeed rendered secure hy vast forests, numerous 
loughs, -with their islands, and the river Shannon with its lakes, which encompassed them; while 
the ocean, with its many isles, presented itself as a last refuge, whither they might retire if over- 
powered. Such was the case in 1582, when, as the annalists state, the fierce governor of Con- 
naught devastated Tirawley, and drove out the inhabitants so determinedly, that neither castles 
nor even woods and forest valleys proved any shelter against him. 

Coill Concholhair [or O'Conor's wood], in the barony of Boyle, County Roscommon, which 
gave APDermot Roc his title of " Lord of the Woods," as he was chief of the clan then inhabiting 
them, probably had more anciently been the fastness of 0' Conor himself, when dispossessed of the 
plains of Connaught by the Englishry. 

The Feadha or "Faes" of Athlonc was the name of O'Xaghton's country. O'Sullivan describes 
how the brave and patriotic chieftain, Donnell O'Sullivan-Beare, when endeavouring to effect a 
junction with the northern insurgent lords, concealed himself and his men in the thick woods near 
Ballinlough in Roscommon, which were so wide that an entire night was spent in marching through 
them. It is stated in the Four Masters that the Faes contained 30 quarters of land. 

The "woods and boggs near the Corleus," named in the foregoing list, were the FasacJi-Coille, or 
wilderness of wood, in the north of the County of Sligo. The woody and dangerous defile through 
the Curlew mountains is memorable for the defeat of Sir Conyers Clifford in 1598. 

Our few notes on the Woods and Fastnesses of Ireland, divided into Provinces, must not close with- 
out reference to the marked historic fact, that the isolated and remote positions of the four principal 
fastnesses caused Erin of old to be quadripartcd, and, subsequently, deprived the resistance made by 
the native provincial dynasties of all national character. This circumstance is somewhat illustrated 
by Chief Baron Finglas' list of "Dangerous Passes," anno 1529, which he gives thus, with a preli- 
minary recommendation : 

" That the lord deputy be eight days in every summer cutting Passes in the Woods next adjoining 
to the king's subjects, which shall be thought most necdfull. 

The Passes names here ensucth : 

Downe, Callibrc, the Xcwe Ditch, the Passes to Powerscourt, Glankey, Ballamore in Fodcrth 
going to Keames/ Le Roge, Strenantoragh, Pollemounty, 8 Branwallehangry, Morterston, two passes 
in Feemore in O'Morye's country, the passes in Ferneynobegane, Killemark, Kelly, Ballenowe, 
Toghernefine, two passes in Reynalegh, 1 ' the passes going to Moill, two in Ivalry, the passes of 
Brahon Jurync, Killkorky, the Lagha, and Ballatra, Karryconnell and Killaghmore, three passes in 
Orior, one by Donegall, another by Taghert, and the third by Omere, Ballaghkine and Ballaghner." 

This suggestive catalogue of ancient military passes around the Pale has been given in the hope 
that some reader of it, who can elucidate its obscure names, will favour us with annotations; telling 

f Ferns. (?) s Between Mt. Leinster and the Barrow. b Ranelagh. 


us of the chivalry that was wont to charge through these defiles, and of the bravery with which 
they were defended, in times when many an Irish forest-road was so often strewn with helmet 
feathers as to be, like that where Essex was encountered by O'More, a " Pass of Plumes." For 
example, one of the passages mentioned as leading into llanelagh is, probably, the glen still known 
as "the Deputy's pass;" but neither legend nor local tradition tell who the Lord Deputy was that 
first forced this bearna baoghail, or "gap of danger." Again, some resident near Pavensdale, the 
romantic scat of Lord Clermont, might oblige us with a description of the glen country between 
Carlingford and Ncwry, which comprises the most renowned historic passes in Ireland. Although 
we have refrained from much comment on the mere notes now strung together, wc cannot quit our 
delightful theme which embraces a period extending from pagan days, when Celtic kings of Con- 
naught used to propitiate the god of victory, by clothing with their mantles a sacred oak at Bearn- 
asmore, the grand defile among the Donegal mountains, (probably in traditional memory of the 
Scythian ceremony described by Herodotus,) down to the transformation of Irish woods, during 
the Commonwealth, into pipe-staves and beer-barrels without making one concluding observation. 
We have made antiquarian pilgrimages to some of our most famous sylvan scenes at one time to 
Carcw's-Wood, where Henry the Fifth received his spurs of knighthood, and where the courtly and 
gallant Sir Peter Carew may have often stalked a stag, and recalled to mind the "three-men song" 
he used to sing with the jovial Harry the Eighth and the sentimental Surrey, commencing, "As I 
walked the wood so wild;" thence turning our steps to Fairwood, we have searched for the site of 
Strafford's timber-palace, constructed within his "park of parks," as he fondly styled the land he 
enclosed from the wilderness of Shilelagh; and, at other times, we have sought " the great wood 
of the Picts," near Tara, in which llobcrt Bruce bivouacked; and the spot in Glcnaginta, once a 
wood in Kerry, notorious as the scene of the 16th Desmond's decapitation; m all these once cele- 
brated woodlands, we found small trace of goodly timber, and nothing worthy to be compared to the 
venerable trees and rich glades of Savcrnake, in Wiltshire, perhaps the finest forest in Great Britain, 
and which, together with Tottenham Chase, composes the most magnificent breadth of sylvan scenery 
she possesses. This stormy isle of ours is deficient in the deep soil and the constant shelter, physical 
and moral, indispensable to a luxuriant growth of trees, those feathery plumes of the land, lacking 
which wc see but baldness. But " non omncs arbusta jurant ;" so wc must now take our literary 
walking-stick, and our leave, offering the trite remark, that since Irish oak is long in arriving a t 
maturity, this should be a cogent reason, with all who love to enrich and adorn their native soil, to 
lose no time in following the dying laird's advice to his son "Be aye planting a tree, Jock; it'll be 
growing while ye're sleeping!" 



The seals, of which the above are engravings, have been found at different times, at Carrickfergus, 
by Mr. James Stannus, the present harbour-master of that ancient borough. The first (Fig. 1) was 
discovered by him in cleaning out a well in the keep of Carrickfergus Castle in June, 1 843, which 
had been for a long period filled with rubbish. The well was sunk in the living rock, and, in a chink 
at the bottom of it, the seal was discovered. It is of yellow brass, oval in shape, and well engraved. 
It is in a state of perfect preservation, and had probably lain in its resting-place for centuries. It is 
not unlikely that it may have been brought over from Scotland by some of the monks who accom- 
panied Edward Bruce to this country in 1315, when he besieged and took Carrickfergus Castle. St. 
Margaret being a Scottish saint, would strengthen this supposition. She is represented on the 
seal at full length, robed, and standing with her feet on a dragon, holding a cross in her right hand, 
the end of which is inserted in the dragon's mouth. Bound the seal is engraved the legend, "Mar- 
garita, ora pro no[bis]." All but the three last letters of this inscription are perfectly legible.* 

A few words respecting the history of this saint may not be unacceptable to our readers. There 
are six saints [of the name in the Bonian calendar. (See Butler's Lives of the Saints.)* The most 

* Since the foregoing was set in type, the seal has been 
carefully cleaned and examined, and the indistinct let- 
ters now prove to be AB. (joined) RA. Our learned and 
ingenious friend Erigena, to whom we submitted the seal 
for inspection, has suggested what wo consider the correct 
GINA] MARGARET A. The asterisk before ORA 
indicates clearly that the inscription commences thre. 
The Crown represented on the figure of the saint corro- 
borates the idea that Queen Margaret of Scotland is 

a Five of them are as follows : 


June 29 
Feb. 22 
June 10 
July 20 
Sept. 2 





cir. 1230 

Princess of Hungary. 


Queen of Scotland. 




celebrated is Margaret, the queen of Scotland, and wife of Malcolm. She is commemorated on 
June 10. There is also an eastern saint of this name, commemorated on July 20th. Several 
metrical legends of St. Margaret are extant ; one is in tho Vernon MSS. at Oxford, beginning 

" Seinte Margurete was an holi maid and good." 

There is a representation of this virgin saint in stained glass, in the north aisle of Winchester 
Cathedral. She is there represented treading on a blue dragon, spotted yellow, under her feet. 
There is also a representation of her, in the same attitude, on the font, at Stoke Golding, Leicester- 
shire. A life of the Scottish St. Margaret was published at Douay, in 1660, and reprinted in Paris 
in 1661, under the title of "The Idea of a perfect Princessc in the Life of S. Margaret, Queen of 
Scotland ; with Elogiums on her children, David, King of Scotland, and Mathilda, Queen of Eng- 
land ; also a Postscript clearly proving Charles II. 's right and title to the Crown of England." It is 
a small 8vo, and very rare. She and her husband, King Malcolm, were interred in the nave of the 
church of Dunfermline ; and in 1250, on the finishing of the Eastern Church, their bodies were 
lifted and translated, by order of Alexander III., to the choir above the Lady Chapel, where their 
position is still marked by large blue plinth stones, with eight circular impressions of pillars for 
supporting the canopy. St. Margaret was canonised by order of Pope Innocent IV., in 1251. 

The following extract from "The Idea of a perfect Priyicesse," mentioned above, will show in what 
veneration she was held in former days, when relics of saints received superstitious reverence: 

" The cofFre, wherein was the head and hair of St. Margaret, was, in the year 1597, delivered into 
the hands of the Fathers of the Society of Jesus, then Missioncrs in Scotland, who, seeing it was 
in danger to be lost, or prophaned, by the seditious Hereticks, transported it to Antwerp. The 
Lord John Malderus, bishop of that city, that he might know the truth of this relick, examined very 
diligently, and xipon oath, the Fathers of the Society, and gave an authentick attestation, under the 
seal of his office, dated the fifth of September, 1620." This relic was afterwards preserved in 
the Chapel of the Scotch College, at Douay. b Another relic of St. Margaret is said to exist in the 
Escurial, in Spain. 

The other seal (Fig. 2) had a large wooden handle, and was found floating among the rocks at the 
foot of Carrickfergus Castle. This was probably a seal of the Custom-House, at the time when Car- 
rickfergus was a port of considerable trade. In the centre is a three-masted ship, with her sails 
furled; above the main-mast is the Irish harp, on either side of which is an anchor; beneath is a 
serpent, with its head erect; above a leopard or lion's head, with the mane streaming down on 
either side ; around the seal are inscribed the words, "PORT CARIKFERGVS." From this 
manner of spelling the name of the town, 1 infer that the seal is about two hundred year- old. 

Ai.riucn T. Li;t. 

*> For several of the above particulars, 1 am indebted to yotet and Querist, 2nd series, vol. iv. 





Deae Sie, I send you for insertion in your journal particulars of an interesting discovery recently 
made near Dundrum, county Down, where the Marquis of Downshire is making a hridge to connect 
Keel point (said to be so named from the quantity of red ochreous clay found there, and called 
"keel" by the country people,) with the promontory of Murlough, upon which his Lordship is 
about to build a marine rilla. 

The workmen in cutting away a bank of shingly clay, so as to procure filling-up materials, came 
upon two graves, made of rough slabs of whin-stone, and containing human bones. As they 
were hastily broken up, and the stones themselves used in the work, their dimensions cannot 
now be given with certainty; but the foreman carpenter, Mr. William Greer, a most intelli- 
gent man, told me that one of the graves measured about 3 J feet long, 14 inches broad, and 
18 inches deep. 

In the same cutting were found, at the depth of 3 feet, ten cinerary urns of unbaked clay, 
standing 3 feet apart, and all but one turned bottom upwards, resting upon flags, and containing 
charred human bones. On being brought to light, between the exposure to the air and the rough- 
ness of the workmen, they all fell to pieces except two, a drawing of which I send you, one-fourth 
of the real size. 

The larger of the two has a rich ornamental border round the mouth, about 2f inches deep, made 
evidently by pressing a cord upon the clay while in a soft state; for the marks of the fibre of the 
cord arc still to be seen. This urn contained large pieces of charred bones, and a ring made of 
shale, a sketch of which (of the actual size) accompanies the drawing of the urns. 

The smaller urn was found with its mouth upwards, and contained very small fragments of 
charred bones, mixed with charcoal in about the proportion of half and half. 

These urns are now in the cabinet of Lady Downshire, at Hillsborough Castle. 

Geoege A. Caeeethees. 
Jlelfasf, 19M March, 1858. 





The following original and interesting account of the Bardic Orders, as they existed in Ireland at so 
recent a period as three centuries back, is transcribed from a document in the State Paper Office, 
dated 5th May, 1561, and entitled Smyth's Information for Ireland. It describes, with a degree of 
curious detail superior to Edmund Spenser's well-known account, of the Irish Bards, those extraor- 
dinary members of society who flourished in the Green Isle down to that late period, under the 
names of Fileas, Ehymers, Kacraidhes, Scanchaidhcs, Carraghs, &c. 

The writer was, it would seem, TnoJiAS Smyth, who appears to have been the only English 
medical man of his time in Dublin, and who, though resident in the metropolis, and combining the 
sale of drugs with his practice, found his business so unremunerativc that he was about to discon- 
tinue it, when the following unique provision was made to induce him to remain. By a concor- 
datum dated 25th April, 1566, an annual stipend was settled on him, by which the Lord Deputy 
and the whole army agreed to give him one day's pay, and every councillor of state twenty shillings, 
yearly "by reason" (as is stated in the document) "of his long conty nuance here, and his often 
and chardgcable provisions of druggs and other apothecarie wares, which have from tyme to tynie 
layen and remained in manner for the most part unuttered, for that the greater part of this contray 
lyrthe ar wonted to use the mynisterie of their leeches and such lylce ; and neglecting the Apothecarie' s 
science, the said Thomas thcrby hath been greatly hyndred, and in manner enforced to abandon that 
his faculty."- 1 

All learned professionals of native race, whether physicians or poets, were, as might be ex- 
pected, particularly obnoxious to any English of the same callings who settled in thisj?ountry. 
The bards were especially odious, as irritamenta malorum, and exponents of national feeling; and 
the " leeches" or medicine-mongers were quarrelled with by any Saxon practitioner to the full extent 
to which doctors disagree. We can fancy that no two of a trade could be less cordial than, for ex- 
ample, the puritan apothecary, Thomas Smyth, who kept his little shop for the sale of mineral 
drugs under the shadow of Dublin castle, and a semi-heathen quack, some recusant Murtagh O'Leigh, 
the descendant of a hereditary race of liagha, i.e., physicians or 'country leeches;" who, by gather- 
ing herbs, obtained his medicines gratis; who invoked the fairies, and consulted witches; and whose 
style of practice could be learnedly and brilliantly described by a distinguished member of our pre- 
sent metropolitan faculty, Dr. Wilde, an ollav both in archaic and modern medicine. 

Spenser's severe comments on his contemporaries, the Irish bards, are accounted for, according to 
sonic critics, by professional rivalry. There could he little competition, however, between the illus- 

Ori; innl in S. 1'. < . 


trious poet who addressed his gorgeous epic, The Faerie Queen?, to the English court, and Irish 
country rhymers who sung Gaelic verses to a Celtic public. His lofty spirit was incapable of envy; 
and, in his Vieir of Ireland, he has, while discriminating between native bards, bad and good, borne 
graceful testimony to the fancy find wit of their best effusions. 

Put our apothecary's paper, on a similar subject, bears evident marks of professional jealousy, as 
well as national antipathy : let it speak for itself. 

" Their is in Irland four shepts [septs] in manor all Rimers. The firstc of them is calleid the 
Ih-ehounde, which in English is calleid the Judge; and, before they will geave judgement, they will 
have pawnes of both the parties, the which is callied in Irish Ulieg, and then will they geave 
judgement according to their one discissions. Theis men be neuters, and the Irishmen will not 
praie them. They have great pleantie of cattcll, and they harbour many vacabons and ydell per- 
sons; and if their be anye rcabell that moves any rebbellionc ageinstc the Prince, of theis people 
they ar cliinie mantayned ; and if the English armye fortune to travell in that parte where they 
be, they will tie into mountains and woodes, by cause they wold not sucker them with vittalls and 
other * * * ; and further they will take appon them to judge matters, and redresse causes, as well 
of inherytans as of other matters, although they are ignoraunt; they which is a greatte hinderans 
to the Queen's Majesties lawes, and hurtfull to the whole English Pale. 

" The scconde sourte is the Shankee, b which is to save in English, the petigrcr. They have also 
great plaintyc of eattell, whcrcwithall they do sucker the rebells. They make the ignoraunt men 
of the country to belyve that they be discended of Alexander the Great, or of Darius, or of Caesar, 
or of some other notable prince ; which makes the ignorant people to run maddc, and cerieth not 
what they do ; the which is very hurtfull to the realme. 

" The thirde sortc is called the JEosdan, which is to save in English, the bards, or the limine 
sepctes ; and these people be very hurtfull to the comonwhealle, for they chifflie manyntayne the 
rebells; and, further, they do cause them that would be true, to be rebelious theves, extoreioners, 
murtherers, ravners, yea and worse if it were possible. Their furst practisse is, if they sc anye 
younge man discended of the septs of Ose or Max, and have half a dowsen aboute him, then will 
they make him a Rime, wherein they will commend his father and his aunchetours, nowmbrying howe 
many heades they have cut of, howe many towncs the}- have burned, and howe many virgins they 
have defloured, howe many notable murthers they have done, and in the ende they will compare 
them to Aniball, or Seipio, or Hercules, or some other famous person ; whcrcwithall the pore foole 
runs maddc, and thinkes indede it is so. Then will he gather a sortc of rackells [rakc-hells] to 
him, and other he most geat him a Proficer, [prophet], who shall tell him howe he shall spede (as 
lie thinkes). Then will he geat him lurking to a sydc of a woode, and ther keepith him close til 
morninge ; and when it is daye light, then will they go to the poorc vilages, not sparingc to distroyc 
young infants, aged people ; and if the women be ever so great withe childe, her they will kill ; 
Imrninge the houses and come, and ransackinge of the poorc cottcs [cottages]. They will then 
drive all the kine and plowc horses, with all other eattell, and drive them awayc. Thenmuste they 
have a bagpipe bloingc afore them ; and if any of theis eattell fortune to waxe wearic or faynt, they 
will kill them, rather than it sholde do the honour's [owners] goode. If they go by anye house 
of fryers or relygious house, they will geave them 2 or 3 beifs, [beeves,] and they will take them, 
and praie for them yea" and prnyes their doings, and save his father was accustomed so to do; 

v ' '.' . < Jvii-tlttna, i.e.; men of songs. 


wharein he will rejoise; and when he is in a safe place, they will fall to the devision of the'spoile, 
accordinge to the dyscresion of the captin. And the messingers that goithe of their errants cleainith 
the gottes for their parcell ; byeausc it is an aunscicnt custoine they will not break it. Now 
comes the ltymer that made the ltyme, with his Rakry. The Rakry is he that shall utter the ryme ; 
and the Rymer himself sitts by with the captain verie proudlye. He brings with him also his 
Harper, who please all the while that the raker sings the ryme. Also he hath his Barde, which 
is a kinde of folise fellowe ; who also must have a horse geven him ; the harper must have a new 
safern [saffron-coloured] shurte, and a mantell, and a hacnaye ; and the rakry muste have XX 
or XXX kine, and the Rymer himself horse and harnes [suit of armour] with a nag to ride on, 
a silver goblett, a pair of bedes of corall, with buttons of silver ; and this, with more, they loke for 
to have, for rcducinge distruxione of the Comenwealth, and to the blasfemye of God; and this is the 
best thinge that y c Rymers causith them to do. 

"The fourth sort of Rymers is called Eillis,' 1 which is to say in English, a Poete. Theis men 
have great store of cattell, and use all the trades of the others, with an adicion of prophecies. 
Theis arc great mayntayners of whitches and other vile matters ; to the great blasfemye of God, 
and to great impoverishinge of the comenwealthe. And, as I have saied of the foure secktes, ar 
devided in all places of the fowre partes of Irland, as Ulster, Launster, Munster, and Conct ; and 
some in Mcthe ; and some in the Hands beyond Irland, as the land of Sainctcs, the Ynce Bonne, Ynce 
Tirkc, Ynce Mayne, and Ynce Clire. Thes Hands are under the rule of Homaile, 6 and they are verie 
pleasaunt and fertile, plcntic of woode, water, and arabell ground and pastur and hshe, and a very 
temperate aver. 

" Their be many braunches belonging to the foure sortes; as the Gogathe, which is to say in 
English, the glutayne, for one of them will eate 2 or 3 galons of butter at a sitinge, halfe a mutton. 
And an other, called the Carruage ; f lie is much like the habram's man, and comenlye he goeth 
nakid, and carise disc and cardes with him ; and he will play the hearc off his head, and his cares ; 
and theis be mantained by the Rymers. 

"Ther is a sort of women that be callcid the goyng women ; they be great blasphemers of God ; 
and they rune from contry to contiy, soynge sedicione amongst the people. They are comen to 
all men; and if any of them happen to be with childe, she will save that it is the greatest Lorde 
adjoining, whereof the Lordes ar glad, and doth appoincte them to be nuryscd. 

'Ther is one other sorte that is calleid the Mannigscoule. Ther order is for to singe ; and the 
chyfest of them most have but one eye, and he is calleid Lucas; they do much harme. 

"Their is other towe sortes that goithe about withe the Bachell of Jesus, as they call it. Theis 
ran from contry to contiy ; and if they come to any house wheir a woman is with child, they will 
putt the same about her, and, wither she will or no, causithe her to geavc them money. They will 
undertake that she shall have good delivery of her childe ; to the great distruxione of the people 
conserningc ther soule's health. Others goith about with St. Patrike's croysur, and playsc the like 
partes or worse; and no doubte as longc as theis bene usyed, the worde of God ran never be knowne 
amongst them, nor the prince fearyed, nor the contry prosper. 

" Tor the reddresse theirof it might be esaly holpen if your honours will geave eare ther unto; 
and if it may stand with your pleasures that I should make any further sertifycate how this nowghty 
people may be ponyste, and to cause them to leave their vie facions, I will, if it be your pleasure, 
showc by what mayne they may be redressed. And as concerninge the fostering <>!' the Irislie 
men's children, it needed as muche redress as any other matter that can ! movyed. The which I 
will showc your honours when it pleasith you." 

7;, ' r,.),t ;,.',, ,i 

1 I'il.-ji.lJio- n"M illv. f <v.iri'h;i- !i. 



I herewith send a sketch of a pair of ancient fetters, found in this neighbour- 
hood in the year 1848, which lately came into my possession. They were found 
in the remains of an old building, situated on an island in Port-Lough, on the main 
road from Derry to Lettcrkcnny, about six miles from the former city. 

About the year 1832, this lough having been lowered considerably by drain- 
age, the island unexpectedly made its appearance, although I believe, for many 
years previous, a local tradition recorded that there was such an island submerged. 
Some years subsequent to 1832, there was a hard frost, which gave opportunity 
for examining the island more closely, Avhen it was discovered that there was a 
building on it. This was minutely inspected by an intelligent person in the neigh- 
bourhood, who found that it was built of stone and lime, of an octagonal shape, 
each of the eight sides measuring 10 feet, and the walls about 4 feet high. There 
was no appearance at that height of any door ; but iron hinges and hooks were 
found inside. In the year 1 848, the fetters were found inside the building. They 
are 3 ft. 4 in. long, and about 1 lbs. weight, although much corroded from lying 
so long in the water. There was found along with them a piece of iron, which, 
although much corroded also, was evidently the head of a small hatchet. There 
were likewise some rude fragments of pottery, and bones of sheep or deer. 

The island itself was formed altogether artificially; the foundation being com- 
posed of a platform of beams of wood (oak and willow), notched and pinned 
together. I think, from all these circumstances, there can be little doubt that 
this building was a stone crannog. But who built it? by whom was it used? 
~Wc find in the volume of the Ordnance Survey of Berry, published under the 
superintendence of Colonel Colby, (page 207,) that Tort-Lough was formerly 
known as Lough Lappan, or O'Lappan' s Lough. "We also find, under the year 
1011, in the Annals of the Four Masters, that JEngus O'Lappan was lord of 
Kinncl-Enda, or Tir-Enda, and died in that year. Tir-Enda comprised that dis- 
trict of country south of the peninsula of Ennisliowen, and between the Foylc 
and Lough Swilly, consequently Tort-Lough was included in the district ; and 
there arc still traces of the foundations of a large castle on the shore of the lough, 
just opposite the island. I think, therefore, we may reasonably suppose that out- 
building was the state-prison of the O'Lappan; for we know that almost all Irish 
chiefs or princes built their crannogs on artificial islands in lakes, wherever they 


were so situated as to have the opportunity of so doing. If that period be too early, it might he as- 
signed to the O'Dohertys or the O'Donnells; as Ave find that, in the year 1440, O'Donnell took 
the castle of Cuil-mac-an-treoin from O'Doherty. The site of the castle is about half-a-mile to the 
north of the lake, and is now occupied by the mansion house of Castle Forward, the family seat at- 
tached to the Wicklow property in this county. 

If any of the numerous readers of the Journal cau throw any farther light on the history of this 
interesting building, I shall be glad to hear from them. 

J. F. 

Newton-Cunningham, Co. Berry. 


L3S5 ^ 

<^> - 

T'S-'". .*;*'-'-- - 


In the neighbourhood of Carrickfergus, several tumuli arc to be found ; none of which, that we 
are aware of, have, till lately, been examined. One is situated near St. Catherine's; another v the 
subject of this article) in what is commonly called the Moat Meadow, near Bella Hill ; a third, a 
remarkably fine one, is in the demesne of lied Hall, near liallycarry, the property of David S. 
Xer, Esq., of Montalto. The tradition of the neighbourhood assigns the erection of these tumuli 
to the time of the Danish invasion ; but Ave are of opinion that some of them, at least, arc far an- 
terior to that period. 

The tumulus at Bella Hill stands in a small plain, which is bounded by eminences of the same 
geological structure as the surrounding district; namely, chalk, capped Avith trap rock. "Where the 
plain noAV is, there may have been a denudation, or else a hollow, on the sides of Avhich the trap, 


when in the state of lava, may have flowed in separate streams, and the bottom of which has evi- 
dently been covered with fresh water for a lengthened period. The clay, now covering the plain, con- 
ceals the rockv sub-stratum, which is probably a portion of the green-sand formation underlying the 
chalk. The occurrence of rolled fragments of trap, chalk, and flint, dispersed through this stratum 
of clay, is every where observable. The tumulus is nearly circular; at its greatest elevation not 
reaching higher than 7 feet, its diameter being 45 feet. The work of examination commenced 
on Thursday, January 28, 1858. A trench about three feet broad was dug, from east to west, 
commencing from the western extremity. On coming within a foot of the level of the field in 
which the tumulus stands, a few fiat stones were found, underneath which lay a layer of fossil 
earth, interspersed with clay. This fossil earth, on being placed under the microscope, was found 
to contain about twenty different species of siliceous organisms (Infusoria), such as are often found 
at the bottom of lakes; most of which species arc common in fresh water, in this part of the country. 
Numerous fresh- water shells were also found mixed up with the Infusoria, the chief of which were 
those named by conchologists Lymneus truncatulus and Planorlis vortex, both common in fresh water. 
Along with these were mixed a few common land shells, viz., Helix arbustorum, Helix rotundata, 
Clausilia nigricans, and Zua lubrica. These arc all species very likely to fall accidentally into 
streams or pools. The fossil earth was found to extend on the same level throughout the whole 
base of the tumulus, and it was in it that all the remains of animal bones which were discovered 
were found. Several fiat stones, from two to three feet in length, w;ere met with near the eastern 
end of the trench, placed on a line 3 J feet below the surface of the mound, and 5 feet from its 
eastern extremity. A few also were placed north and south. 

"When this trench had been completely examined, a deeper and broader one was made from north 
to south ; and finally the whole of the eastern half of the tumulus was removed. Beneath the fossil 
earth lay a stratum of clay, underneath which was a thin layer of peat, about a foot in depth ; 
beneath which, again, was a greyish clay, in which, as well as in the upper stratum of clay, nu- 
merous fragments of flint were found, all more or less bearing marks of having been artificially 
shaped in a rude manner by blunt instruments. Under this grey clay occurred another layer of 
peat, which was not penetrated. 

Amongst the animal remains in the fossil earth, several bones of horses, oxen, pigs, and deer 
were found; some of the jaAV-bones being perfect, with the teeth still in them. A quantity of bones 
belonging to some othcr'animals, not determined, were also found, together with portions of the heads 
of the ox and goat. 

On the 20th of February, on arriving at the level of the first layer of peat, exactly in the centre 
of the mound, four stones, placed in the form of a square (as seen in the accompanying sketch), and 
imbedded in the peat, were discovered. The inclosed space was filled with glutinous clay, mixed 
with ashes; at the bottom of which, at the depth of five inches, two semi -circular stones Averc found, 


on which, in all probability, rested the sepulchral urn, in which the ashes of the chief to whose 
honour this tumulus was erected, were placed. Two or three feet to the north of this were found 
twenty -set en amber leach, of rude shapes, all pierced 
through the centre, and to all appearance formerly 
used as a necklace; the portion of the beads, where 
the apertures arc, being much worn as if by the fric- 
tion of a string. Several rude specimens of flint arrow- 
heads were also found in the clay, together with a number 
of globular stones, about the size of grape-shot, possibly 
used as sling-stones. 'No human remains were found, 
with the exception of a small bone, which has been 
pronounced, on competent authority, to be very like 
one of the small wrist-bones of the human body ; but 
this alone would not be sufficient to determine the fact 
as to the existence of human remains in the tumulus. 

The character of the remains discovered in this tu- 
mulus incline us to fix the date of its formation ante- 
rior to the Christian era. Its shape (much more flattened and loss elevated than any other 
tumuli we have seen in this country,) may be accounted for by the continued action of the waters 
of the lake which probably surrounded it for centuries; the former existence of which is proved 
not only by the geological formation of the locality, but by the deposit of peat and tho remains of 
fresh-water shells and lake Infusoria found in the sub-stratum on which the tumulus stands. 

As the whole subject of the origin and date of the Irish tumuli is still enveloped in obscurity, I 

have thought it right to record the results, however unsatisfactory, of one examination of this kind, 

in afford to future explorers the means of comparison. 

Af.FRF.n T. Lrr. 




13 v ROBERT Mac ADAM. 

We have in Ireland, at the present moment, two distinct races of inhabitants, who differ totally . 
from each other in language, and whose early thoughts have been trained in two very different 
schools. The remains of the old native clans, who still habitually employ the Irish tongue amongst 
themselves, are only able to hold an imperfect intercourse with their Anglicised neighbours in a 
language which they speak Avith difficulty. The native Irishman is obliged to address his landlord, 
or to sell his cow to his customer, in English (such as it is) ; but these persons have at present no 
interest in learning to understand his mother-tongue. Hence numberless instances occur daily in 
many parts of the country, in which it is found impossible to carry on a lengthened conversation 
between individuals of the two races. According to the last Government Census, the number of 
persons returned as still using the Irish language in this country was 1,524,286, or nearly one-fourth 
of the whole population ; but even this large figure by no means indicates with accuracy the entire 
number of persons who understand it, or who have learned it in their infancy. It is well known 
that in various districts where the two languages co-exist, but where the English now largely pre- 
dominates, numbers of individuals returned themselves as ignorant of the Irish language, either 
from a sort of false shame, or from a secret dread that the Government, in making this inquiry (for 
the first time), had some concealed motive, which could not be for their good. Their native shrewd- 
ness, therefore, dictated to them that their safest policy was to appear ignorant of the unfashionable 
language. For this reason, we may add very considerably to the number given by the Census. 

Kow all these individuals have obtained whatever intellectual cultivation they possess, and most 
of the rules which regulate their conduct and morality, through the medium of a tongue which is 
now proscribed, and which (even if they could avail themselves of it) possesses no published litera- 
ture. Hence the early knowledge they have acquired from their mothers, their nurses, or their 
companions, lias all been of a traditional kind ; and we may feel assured that the old sayings of 
their forefathers have formed a large portion of their education. We, whose earliest years are 
associated with books and schools, cannot readily realise the condition of persons who have obtained 
all their education without them ; and yet such is the case with the existing Gaelic-speaking popu- 
lation of Ireland. The children of the last ten years, indeed, in a, great majority of districts, are 
reaping the advantages of our - new English national schools; and in the localities where the Eng- 
lish language far prepnnderntos'ovcr the Irish, the change will be immediate, and we may expect 


the young scholars to grow up with ideas like ourselves. But in those sections of the country where 
the Irish tongue still obstinately holds its ground (and they are many and large), this change will 
not take place in one generation ; and in some places it would be hard to predict at what period 
the language will be extinct. 

At all events, we have the great fact before us, that between a million-and-a-half and two millions of 
persons living amongst us now (a greater number, for instance, than the entire population of Xorway,) 
speak a language of which we are most of us totally ignorant, have spoken it from their infancy, and 
have had no other medium for receiving their early instruction. Is it not worth while, then, to 
ascertain something of their manner of thinking, which must undoubtedly differ considerably from 
ours ? One method of doing so will certainly be an examination of the popular sayings which, to 
a great extent, serve them as substitutes for books and literature. It will at least be curious to see 
in what forms the lessons of experience and common sense have embodied themselves among a race 
long secluded (intellectually) from the rest of the world, and confined to their own unaided genius. 

The present collection of Irish proverbs, (amounting to six hundred,) though confined to the 
northern province, is the largest which has yet been published in Ireland, and still by no means com- 
prises the whole of those extant in Ulster. They were written down by myself from the mouths of 
the people, during a series of years, when opportunities brought me sometimes into contact with the 
Caelic-spcaking population of various localities in the north. These opportunities have been more 
rare of late, or I am persuaded I could have extended the collection to several hundreds more. It will 
be seen, on comparison, that, with a very few exceptions, the proverbs in the present list differ entirely 
from all those already printed, and which may be found in Hardiman's Irish Minstrelsy, the Dublin 
Penny Journal, and Bourke's Irish Grammar. In most of the cases where they agree in substance, 
various shades of difference will be noticed, occasioned by difference of dialect, or variety of figura- 
tive expression. Some proverbs seem to be special favourites, and are found in all parts of Ireland, 
familiar to everybody. Many are confined to certain localities, and contain local allusions which 
would not be understood elsewhere : of this kind, however, few are admitted into the present 
list. Some indicate a sentiment or an advice plainly; others in a figurative or an elliptical style, 
which is occasionally difficult to comprehend. Many present idiomatic expressions, or archaic forms, 
which are now uncommon in daily speech. Others, again, contain allusions to remote historical 
events or characters now nearly forgotten, or to customs now quite obsolete; and not a few embody 
traditional superstitions evidently banded down from Pagan times. Some of the specimens of these 
last classes which I possess are not published at present, because 1 have not yet satisfactorily 
traced out their exact meaning. 

The subject, therefore, is properly an archaeological one. Old proverbs are as much the frag- 
mentary relies of the days gone by, as the ruined walls of our castles, or the moss-grown stones of 
our cromlechs; and it is as well worth while to record obsolete words or phrases in our old national 


language, as to preserve descriptions or representations of material objects of antiquity still existing 
among us. "We occasionally meet with words embalmed in proverbs which are only to be found in 
old manuscripts. To the archaeologist these popular sayings have an additional value. It is among 
the lower classes of a community that we must look for traces of old customs ; and frequently, 
when tliese customs themselves have ceased to exist, the vestiges of them are to be found retained 
in popular expressions which, in the course of time, have been turned into proverbs. 

Xor is the subject one that can be considered as mere literary trifling. Proverbs in many coun- 
rics (perhaps in all) are in such constant use among the masses of the people, particularly the 
uneducated, and so interwoven with their daily speech, that they may be looked upon as very 
correct indexes of the national mode of thought and tone of morality. Lord Bacon long ago observed 
that "the genius, wit, and spirit of a nation are discovered by their proverbs." "I am con- 
vinced," says another writer, " that we may learn, from the proverbs current among a people, Avhat 
is nearest and dearest to their hearts, how honour and dishonour are distributed among them, 
what is of good, what of evil report in their eyes, with very much more which it can never be un- 
profitable to know." a The difference between the English and French people, for instance, could 
scarcely be better expressed (certainly not more briefly) than by two of their very familiar proverbs, 
both recommending courteous behaviour, but each for a reason peculiarly national : 

English. Civility costs no money : 
French. On attrapc plus do mouches avee du miel qu' avec du vinaigre. 

The present collection may therefore serve to throw some light on the character of the native 
Irish population of Ulster, comprising, as it does, their favourite sayings on a great variety of 

Every civilised language possesses a large store of proverbs, the accumulated gatherings of the 
wit and homely wisdom of many generations. ^Numbers of these are identical, or nearly so, in 
all countries, seeming, as it were, to be citizens of the world. Many are of extreme antiquity, 
and appear to possess a perennial existence ; being evidently so true to human nature that they 
arc as applicable, at the present time, to human conduct and feelings, as on the first day they 
were uttered. But many are also of modern date ; and the crop has not ceased to grow even 
yet. The poets have furnished not a few ; and avc almost forget already that it is to Young 
we owe "Procrastination in the thief of time,'' and to Pope "A little learnhig is a dangerous 
thing." 1 The same has been the case at all periods, and in all countries where poetry exists; and 
wlure docs it not ? Horace and Juvenal have contributed many a pointed adage to the common 
Rtock, and so, no doubt, have our own Irish bards. Indeed, the qualities necessary to produce a 
good poet imagination and force of expression arc often superlatively observable in proverbs ; 

* Trench on " The Lessons in rroverbs,'' p. 48. 


and it is by no means unlikely that a large proportion of them have at one time formed parts 
of poetic compositions. 

The topics treated of in these popular sayings are of such various kinds that it is not easy to 
define correctly what a proverb actually is. It was Lord John Ilusscll (I think) who said that a 
proverb is " the wisdom of many, and the wit of one;" a comprehensive enough definition, which 
will embrace most of the species. But there arc many such popular phrases in all languages, which 
contain neither wisdom nor wit (so far as we can now sec) ; and therefore we must content ourselves 
with a less brilliant definition. Proverbs (at least Irish proverbs) treat of the most miscellaneous 
subjects, in fact de omnibus rebus ; and perhaps, on the whole, the best name we can apply to them 
is the one given to them by the Irish themselves, namely, Sean-Rdite, " Old Sayings." 

The four provinces of Ireland seem, from a very early period, to have been distinguished from 
each other by peculiarities of dialect. This was naturally to be expected in a country in which 
masses of population were separated from one another, in many places, by tracts of dense forest and 
impassable bog, and their intercourse impeded elsewhere by the want of roads. This separation 
was still farther perpetuated by the manner in which the invading colonists, Xorman and English, 
distributed themselves over the island ; occupying the level and fertile grounds which compose the 
centre of Ireland, and thus cutting off the communication between the natives on all sides. Hence 
it is, that in each important division of the Irish-speaking population we not only observe marked 
differences of pronunciation and accent, but find whole sets of words and of grammatical forms 
preserved in one district which arc unknown or forgotten in another. One very remarkable example 
of this is the negative a part of speech so important and so constantly in use that, of all others, it 
would seem the most likely to remain uniform in every dialect of a language. It is nearly so in all 
the Scandinavian and Teutonic dialects (Danish, Swedish, Dutch, German, English, &c), and in the 
Latin and its modern descendants, the French, Italian, and Spanish. But, strange to say, in the 
Gaelic of Ireland avc find two totally distinct negatives ; the one fNiJ employed by the natives of 
the three provinces, Leinster, Minister, and Connaught ; the other fCha h J used exclusively in 
Ulster, and likewise in the Highlands of Scotland and the Isle of Man, whose population have 
always been intimately connected with it. The geographical boundary of the northern negative in 
Ireland extends rather farther south than the limit of the present province of Ulster, embracing 
portions of the counties of Louth and Meath; in fact, bounded by the frontier of the old English 
"Pale :" but westward the boundary almost precisely coincides -with the modern limit of the pro- 
vince ; for, on passing a distance of only a single mile from the county of Donegal into that of 
Leitrim, Ave find every person using the negative Ni. c It is a curious coincidence that, in the earlier 
period of the history of Prance, avc find the Xorth and South of that country distinguished by the 

b Ch, pronounced guttural, like the German ch in noch, c Xi and Cha are used indiscriminately in the south- 

or like the <jh in our lovgh. west of Donegal. 


word employed for yes, which in the former was Oui, in the latter Oc; the two dialects being hence 
named the Langue d' Oui and the Langue tV Oc. The first of these appellations has long sunk into 
oblivion, as the northern dialect, being the language of the dominant race and of their metropolis, 
Paris, took the name of La Langue Franchise; but the other old designation still remains in the 
name of a southern province of Prance, Languedoc. In a similar manner, we might separate Gaelic 
Ireland into two great divisions, characterised by "the Language of Cha" and "the Language 
of Ni." 

The origin of the northern negative has not yet been satisfactorily traced, though some have 
supposed it to be the remains of a very ancient form, Nocha. But, be this as it may, the universal 
and exclusive use of this old negative in Lister, and its frequent recurrence in speech, give a cha- 
racter to the northern dialect which is very strange and puzzling to a southern or western Irishman. 
It will be found a very marked feature in the collection of Lister proverbs now given to the public; 
because I have thought it right to print these popular phrases precisely in the form in which they 
are spoken by the native Irish of this province, and not to substitute a word which, though now 
recognised as the more classic by our grammarians, is practically unknown in this part of Ireland. 
The negative Cha is employed exclusively, however, in all books printed in the Scottish Gaelic, 
though not hitherto to be met with in any Gaelic books printed in Ireland. It is necessary to add 
that the word takes the several forms, cha, chan, and char, according to certain grammatical rules, 
which need not be specified here, as they are familiar to all Gaelic scholars. 

Some other peculiarities will be remarked by those familiar with the ordinary Irish of our printed 
books ; though, as a whole, the language will be found perfectly intelligible to any one acquainted 
with the dialects of the other provinces. It will also be readily understood by a Scottish High- 
lander, although to him presenting some grammatical differences more striking. The language of 
Lister, in fact, forms a connecting link between the two extreme divisions of the Gaelic, and pos- 
sesses an interest from retaining some forms of words lost in both. As my present object, however, 
is not to enter into any examination of the dialects, 1 will pursue the subject no further here. 

In order to facilitate future reference to the proverbs contained in the present collection, they 
are numbered consecutively; and, for further convenience, I have endeavoured to arrange a num- 
ber of them under heads, where the subjects were similar; though many more, of course, admit of 
no kind of nr; angement. It is interesting to compare together the proverbs of different nations, 
and to note the different modes in which similar ideas are expressed in various languages. "Without 
attempting to institute anything like a general comparison of this kind, I have occasionally illus- 
trated an Irish proverb by some similar one employed in another country. Various other examples 
will occur to any reader familiar with the subject. I have also thought it desirable to add, to 


tnany of these phrases, notes explanatory of their origin, or of the allusions they contain, which are 
frequently not quite obvious at first sight, as they refer to local or national customs and events. 
Half the wit and point of a proverb consists in its apt application ; and the Irish, as might be 
expected, are often peculiarly happy in this. I have occasionally given examples such as I have 
myself met with ; but these are not to be taken as by any means the best ; for many of the proverbs 
(especially those expressed in a figurative manner) are capable of an endless variety of applications, 
both directly and ironically; and there is no mode more frequently employed by an Irishman for 
displaying his well-known propensity to fun and humour, than the witty application of a proverb. 
In this peculiarity he resembles the Spaniard, perhaps, more than any other. I have only further 
to remark that a number of these proverbs arc in verse ; the rhyme being indicated by the agree- 
ment of vowels, as is usual in all Irish poetry, and not by that of consonants. 

" Pareceme, Sanclio, que no hay refran que no sea vcrdadero, porque todos son sentenciaa 
sacadas de la misma esperiencia, madre de las ciencias todas." ["I am of opinion, Sancho, 
that there is no Proverb which is not true, because they are all sentences drawn from expe- 
rience itself, the Mother of all the Sciences."] Don Quixote, part 1, cap. 21. 

Foresight, Caution, Thrift, Prudence. 

1. An te cheanglas, 's e shiubhlas. [He that binds travels (best).] 

i.e., He who ties las burden properly will get along without stoppages. 

2. An te nach g-cuireann 'sa n-carrach, cha bhaineann se san fhoghmhar. [He that does not 

sow in the spring-time will not reap in the harvest-time,] and 

3. An te chuireas, 'so bhaincas. [lie that sows will reap.] 

4. Amharc romhad sul a d-tabhraidh tu do leum. [Look before you give a leap.] 

5. Seid sul a n-de6ehaidh tu. [Wow before you drink.] 

Alluding to hot broth, which may burn your mouth if you eat it incautiously : or to a drink, 
lest insects -should be iloating on the top : and applied as a warning against over-haste in 

6. An te nach g-caomhraigh bcagan, cha bbiann moran aige. [He that will not spare the little, 

will not have the much.] 

7. An te nach g-cuiridh snaim, caillidh so a ehcudghreim. [lie that does not tic a knot will lose 

his first stitch. 1 


8. Gearr an gad is foisge do'n sgornach. [Cut the gad nearest to the throat.] 

This refers to a time when criminals or prisoners in this country were hanged by a 
twisted gad (or withe) made of willow rods, before hemp ropes were used ; and probably 
meant that, if we wished to save the life of a culprit, we should cut the gad nearest his 
throat. Or, if a horse had fallen, entangled in this primitive harness, and was in danger of 
being strangled, the same advice would suggest itself. It now signifies, " Do the thing 
first that is of the most pressing need." 

9. An te nach g-cleachtann marcaigheacht, dearmadann se na spuir. [He that is not in the habit 

of riding forgets the spurs.] 

This has many applications- Sometimes it means A man not used to good company is at a 
loss how to behave. 

10. Cuireann duine snaim le n-a theangaidh nach bh-fuasglochaidh 'fhiacla. [A man ties a knot 

with his tongue that his teeth will not loosen.] 
That is, when a man marries. 

11. Fanann duine sona le seun, agus bheir duine dona dubh-leum. [The lucky man waits for 

prosperity, but the unlucky man gives a blind leap.] 

12. Cha n-diolaidh si a cearc a riamh 'sa la fhliuch. [She never sells her hen on a wet day.] 

A hen with wet feathers looks much smaller than when dry. The proverb recommends us to 
be cautious of having dealings with such knowing people. 

13. Is fearr pilleadh as lar an atha na bathadh 'sa tuile. [It is better to turn back from the middle 

of the ford than to be drowned in the flood.] 

Better stop in time than lose all. Said when any one repents a thing, and draAvs back at 
the last moment ; as in the case of a marriage, when the couple are in the priest's house- 
Several Irish proverbs refer to fords in rivers, which were very important places before 
bridges were built. 

14. Is searbh d'a ioc an fion ma's milis d'a 61. [Wine is sweet in the drinking but bitter in the 


Spanish. Al comer de los tocinos, cantan padres y hijos, al pagar sus a llorar, [Whilst they eat 
the bacon, fathers and sons are merry, but when they pay for it they are sad.] 

15. Is coir nidh a thaisgidh lc h-aghaidh na coise galair. [It is right to lay by something for a 

sore foot.] 
1G. Is mairg a lcigcas a run le cloidh. ["Wo to the man that entrusts his secret to a ditch.] 
English. Walls have cars. Spanish. Tras pared ni tras seto, no digas en segrcto. [Do not tell 
your secrets behind a wall or a hedge] 
17. Xa cuir an t-uisge salach a mach, go d-tiobhraidh tu an t-uisgo glan a steach. [Do not throw 

out the dirty water until you have brought in the clean.] 
13. Is iomad tuisleadh o'n laimh go d-ti an beul. [There is many a slip from the hand to the 

Spanish. Be la mano a la boat si pierdi la sopa. [From the hand to the mouth the soup is 


19. Salachaidh aon chaora chlamhach sreud. d [A single scabby sbeep will infect a flock.] 

Latin. Grex totus in agris unius scabie cadit. Juvenal. 

20. Is fearr aithreach agus fuireach na aithreacli agus imthcacht. [It is better to be sorry and stay 

than sorry and go away.] 

Scotch. Better rue sit nor rue flit ; also, Fools are fain o' flit' in' and wise men o' sittin'. 

21. Rinne sc an feur, fad a's bhi an gbrian suas. [He made hay while the sun was up.] 

22. An te f lianas a bhfad a muigh, fuarann a chuid air. [The man that stays out long, his dinner 


Applied to any one who stays too long from home : for instance, to O'Rourke, who was on a 
pilgrimage when his wife ran away with Dermod McMurrough, and caused the English in- 
vasion of Ireland. 

23. Cuid an taisgeair aig an g-caithteair. e [The spender gets the property of the hoarder.] 

English. Fools build houses and ivise men live in them. Latin. Sic vos non vobis mclliflcatis apes. 

24. Chan fhuair an madadh ruadli teachdaire a riamh a b'fhearr na e fein. [The fox never 

found a better messenger than himself.] 

25. Is maith dha orus a bheith air do chuigeal. [It is good to have two stricks of flax on your 


English. It is well'Jo have two strings to your bow. Latin. Duabus ancoris fultus. 

26. As a cionn a bhlichtear an bho. [Out other head the cow is milked.] 

Signifying that, according to the manner a cow is fed, she gives better or worse milk. You 
may expect to be served by a man according as you treat him. 

27. 'Xuair a chrionas slat, is deacair a snioinhadh. [When a rod withers, it is hard to twist.] 

28. Is breallan an te nach nglacfadh airgead a d'fhuralochadh air. [He is a fool that will not 

take money that is ottered to him. ] 

29. Is maitlran seideadh sroine do dhuinc, smug fhaiccal air dhuine eile. [It is a good nose- 

blowing to a man to see snot on the nose of another.] 

A very homely way of recommending people to take example by the faults or misfortunes 
of others. Latin. Felix quern faciunt aliena pericula caufttm. 

30. Xi'l brigh 'san luibh naeh bh-1'aghthar a ii-ini. [There is no virtue in the herb that is not 

got in time.] 
;;i . Na eaill caora le luach pighine de tharra. [Do not lose a sheep for the sake of a pennyworth 
of tar.] 

32. Is fusa sgapadh na cruinniughadh. [It is easier to scatter than to gather.] 

33. Cha n-e la na gaoithc la mi sgolba. [The windy day is not the day for fastening the thatch.] 

The thatch on an Irish cottage is fastened down by a number of watths or pointed roils of 
willow, called sgolb. The proverb signifies that a windy day is not the proper time for such 
Work'. It is applied in all eases where foresight is necessary 

' The word n.-u illy given in Irish dictionaries for "a c All the masculine nouns which end in bir in other 

flock" is triad ; but uteud is what 1 have always heard parts of Ireland, are here pronounced air. 
used in Ulster. O'Reilly gives siead. 


34. Na dean cro a roimlic na h-arcaibh. [Do not build the sty before the litter comes.] 

35. Na bcannuigh an t-iasg go d-tiocaidh se a d-tir. [Do not bless the fish till it gets to the 


36. Mur rinne tu do lcabaidh, lnidh uirrthi. [As you have made your bed, lie on it.] 

Applied, for instance, to a bad marriage. 

37. Sin ag cur muinighne a g-claidheamh briste. [That is putting trust in a broken sword.] 

38. Is bcag a t-eibheall a lasas teinc mhor. [It is a small lighted coal that will kindle a great fire.] 

Spanish. Be pequena cmtella, gran hoguera. [A small spark makes a great fire-] Scotch. A sma 
spark breeds meikle warlc. 

39. Ma cheannaigheann tu droch-nidh, ccannochaidh tu a list go h-aithghearr. [If you buy a bad 

tiling, you Avill soon buy again.] 

Spanish- Comprar lo que no has mene&Ur, y venderas lo que podrds escusar. [Bu y what you do not 
want, and you will sell what you cannot spare-] Latin. Si inutilia emas, necessaria vendes. 

40. jSTI 6 mheud f an phrainn nach lughaide na gnothuidhc. [The greater the hurry the less the 


41. Ma shineann tu le do laimh, cuairteochaidh tu le do chois. [If you stretch out with your 

hand, you will seek out with your foot.] 

If you are too lavish with your hand, you may be driven to walk the road as a beggar. 

42. Ma's milis a mhil, na ligh-sa de'n dreasoig i. [Though honey is sweet, do not lick it off a 


43. Xa cuntais na sicinidh no go m-beidh siad leigthe. [Do not count your chickens until they 

arc hatched.] 

Latin. Ante victor iam ne canas triumphum. 

44. Ni sgcul ruin e, 6 chluinneas triuir e. [It is no secret when three persons have heard it.] 

45. Thainig a ton chun talamh eadar a dha sdol. [The backside came to the ground between two 


46. Faghann na h-eich bus, fhad a's bhios a feur a' fas ; or, Gheibh na h- eieh bas, &c. [The horses 

die while the grass is growing.] 

English. Live, horse, and you '11 get grass. 

47. Tarruing do lamh comb reidh a's thig leat as beul a mhadaidh. [Draw your hand out of the 

dog's mouth as easily as you can.] 

48. Sgeul a chuala mi-se, a's chuir me a m-briotal faoi dhb, 
Go n-dcan a beach do fein teach anns a g-ciuin ghrian-16. 

[A story that I heard, and I committed it to memory twice, 
That the bee makes a house for itself on the sunshiny day.] 

49. Xi gheabhar an eu go n-imthigh an fiadh. [The hound is not found until the deer is gone.] 

i.e., "When one thing is found another is not forthcoming. 

1 In other parts of Ireland da mheud ; and so in other similar phrafes, as da laighiod, &c. 


50. Sabhalann grcim a n-am dha ghreitn. [A stitch in time saves two stitches.] 

51. Is sleamhuin leac dorus tigh moir. [The door-step of a great house is slippery.] 

Alluding to the uncertainty of great men's favour. 

52. Is farsuing beul a bhothain. [Wide is the door of the little cottage.] 

le-, No house can be kept without expense. Said sometimes to deter from an imprudent 

Industry, Perseverance, Activity, Energy, Patience, and their opposite*. 

53. Cuidighcann Dia leis a te a chuidigheas lcis fein. [God helps him who helps himself.] 

French. A ide-toi et Dieu faidcra. 

54. Is fearr lubadh na briscadh. [It is better to bend than break.] 

55. Ma's fada an la, thig an oidche fa dheireadh. [Long as the day may be, the night comes 

at last.] 

Italian. Non vicn di, che non venga sera. English. The longest day will have an end. 

56. Buail an t-iarann fad a's ta so teith. [Strike the iron while it is hot.] 

57. Is fearr mall na go brath. [Better late than never.] 

58. Cha ghabhann dorn druidte scabhac. [A shut fist will not catcli a hawk.] 

59. Chan fhaghthar saill gan saothar. [Fat is not to be had without labour.] 

French. Nnlpain sans peine. 
GO. 'Se an t-eun maidne a gheabhas a pheisdeog. [It is the morning bird that catcbes the worm.] 

61. Is trian de'n obair, tus a chur. [Making a beginning is the one-third of the work.] 

English. What is well begun is half ended. French. Ce nest que le premier jms qui rout' 
Spanish. Barha lien remojada, medio rapada. [A beard well lathered is half shaved.] 

62. Luidh lc h-uan, a's eirigh le h-eun, 

fhaiceas tu death agus fear 'n a deigh, 
Go bh-feicidh tu cruacha monadh a's cocaidli feir. 
[Lie down with the lamb, and rise with the bird. 
From the time you see a harrow and a man behind it, 
Until you see stacks of turf and cocks of hay.] 
i.e-, From harrowing-time to hay-harvest. 

63. Dean sin mur abheidheadh tcinc air do ehraicionn. [Do it as if there wire fire on your skin. | 

64. An te is luaithc lamb, biodh aige an gadhar ban 's a liadh. [ \lv that has the quickest hand, 

lot him have the white hound and the door. ] 

English. First come first sn-red- The Irish proverb seems to refer to some incident in the old 
limiting expeditions of the Irish chiefs. 

65. Is foarr eirigh moch na suidhe mall. [Early rising is hotter than sitting up late. 

VOI-. VI. Y 


66. Char fhag so cloch gan tionta. [He left no stone unturned.] 

67. Sgiste gliiolla an ghoblia, o na builg chun na h-inneora. [The leisure of the smith's helper. 

(that is) from the bellows to the anvil.] 

68. Ma's gasta an gearr-fhiadh, beirthear fa dheireadh air. [Though the hare is swift she is 

caught at last.] 
60. Is minic a blii cu mall sona, a's cu dona 'n a rith. [A slow hound has often luck when a swift 

hound has not. J 

Alluding to dogs coursing a hare. Sometimes the hare, by a sudden turn, causes the fore- 
most hound to run past her, when she is caught by a slower dog. It signifies that " Often 
lie who plods steadily at home succeeds as well as one who roams about looking for business 
or profit-" Italian. Chi va piano va sano, chi va forte va alia morte- English. The more haute 
the ivorsc speed. 

70. Is minic a rug fear a deich air a da fhichid. [Many a time the man with the ten has over- 

taken the man with the forty.] 

This proverb refers to card-playing- One of the usual Irish games is won by marking forty- 
five. A player, who at the commencement of a deal has only marked ten, while his opponent 
has marked forty, may still overtake him and win the game- The proverb is intended as an 
encouragement to persons engaged in any business- 

71. A n-deigh a cheile togthar na caisleiiin. [By degrees the castles arc built.] 

A proverb which, no doubt, took its rise when the Irish, to their cost, saw the Anglo-Norman 
castles rising one after another round the English Pale. 

72. Is cigin do leanabh lamhachan sul ma siubhalaidh se. [A child must creep before he walks.] 

73. Cha chruinnigheann cloch chasaidh caonach. [A rolling stone gathers no moss.] 

Spanish- PL dra movediza nunco molio la cobija- This is a proverb found in almost all languages. 
7-1. Gheibh beathach cheithre g-cos tuisleadh. [A four-footed beast will stumble.] 
7-">. Faghann iarraidh iarraidh cile. [The seeking for one thing will find another.] 

76. Mu'r^robh gnothuighe a mach acu, li i!i a saith gnothuighe a bhaile acu. [If they had no 

business abroad they have plenty of Inisiuess at home.] 

Said of persons idling their time, or going where they have no errand. 

77. Da m-beidhcadh aon ribe air do chuigcal, cha deanta sin. [You would not do that if you had 

any flax on your distaff.] 

Said of a woman spending her time foolishly. 
7 v [si imnhuin leis a chat iasg, acht ni h-aill leis a chruba fhliuchadh. [The cat likes fish, but 

does not like to wet her paws.] 
7'1. I - maith a saoghal e ma mhaircaim se a bh-fad. [It is a very good time if it lasts.] 
Addressed to a giddy thoughtless person. 
'Si' i uid :i t-searraigh de 'n chliath a ta agad-sa. [You have the foal's share of the harrow.] 

> ' ' You are an idle spectator :" because, while the marc is drawing the harrow, the foal 
!c~ beside her doing nothing 

* The common abbreviation for Muna. 


81. Ta uallach mhic leisge ort. [You have the burden of the son of laziness on you.] 

82. Leisge luidhe agus leisge ag eirigh, sin mallachd Choluim-chille. [Laziness in lying, and 

laziness when risen, this is the curse of Columb-kille.] 

83. Is trom an t-uallach an fhallsachd. [Laziness is a heavy burden.] 

84. Ghnidh codladh fada ton lom. [Long sleep makes a bare back.] 

85. Budh mhaith an teachdairc le cur a g-coinne an bhais thu. [You would be a good messenger 

to send for Death.] 

Because you would delay so long on the road. 

86. Eisd le tuile na h-amhna, a's gabhaidh tu breac. [Listen for the flood of tlie river, and you'll 

catch a trout.] 

Wait patiently, and you will see the result 

87. Eisd le gaoith na m-beann go d-traoghthaidh na h-uisgidh. [Listen to the wind of the moun. 

tains until the waters ebb.] 
Let the storm blow by. 

88. iSTi fiu an sogh an te nach bh-fulaingidh an-ndoigh tamull. [He that will not bear adversity 

for a while does not deserve prosperity.] 

Latin. Dulcia non meruit qui non guslabit amara. 

89. Is fada an rod nach m-biann casadh aim : and, Is dircach an botliar naeh m-biann casadh 

ann. [It is a long road (or a straight road) that has no turn in it.] 

90. Is faide go brath na go bealtuinn. [It is longer to the day of judgment than to May-day. j 

i-e-, There is time enough yet 

91. Is subhailec an fhoighid nach d-tugann naire. [Patience is a virtue that causes no shame. 

92. An nidh nach feadar a leigheas, is eigin 'fhulaing. [What cannot be cured must be borne. ; 

93. Is ole an ghaoith nach seididh go maith do dhuine eigin. [It is a bad wind that dues not blow- 

well for somebody.] 

94. Clin 'nil* tuile o mheud nach d-traoghann. [However great the flood, it will ebb. j 

Or, more poetically expressed: Ni 7 tuile da mheud nach d-leid scull tamuill a d-trdigh. 

95. Nachar leor do dhuine dhona a dhichioll a dheanamh. [Is it not enough for a poor man to 

do his best ?] 

96. Cha bhiann iniirce gan chaill. [There is no removal without loss. ] 

English- Three removes arc as bad as a fire : and, 
I never saw an oft-remov< d tree, 
Nor yet an ofl-rcjnovcd familii, 
That throve so well as those that settled be. 

f 'To be continued.) 
* Universally employed instead of the Ni'l ol the other provinces. 



The remarks of your correspondent, Mr. A. 
Heme [vol. vi., p. 54], respecting the preserva- 
tion in Ireland of old forms and pronunciations 
of English words, is deserving of much attention. 
In Scotland, in several of the provincial parts of 
England, and in America, many of the local 
peculiarities are nothing but the primitive Eng- 
lish idioms, "which have in the modern language 
been superseded by recent innovations. By 
attending to these peculiarities, we may often 
determine from what precise parts of England 
particular portions of Ireland were colonized. 
Thus, there is a striking resemblance between 
the dialect of Devonshire and the English spoken 
in the county of Cork : e.g., such words as "boat" 
are pronounced in two syllables "bo -at." 
There is one word used in Cork, the origin of 
which I have .sought in vain in dictionaries. A 
" shed" (called in Ulster a "shade") is there 
named a "linny." ISow, in Devonshire they 
call it a "linhaye." This word may perhaps be 
connected with the French "haye," a hedge or 
fence. In Exeter, two streets near the cathedral 
are called "Northern Have" and "Southern 
Have." May not "linhaye" be from " ligne de 
la huge," a pent-house erected along a hedge? 
1 may observe that the resemblance between the 
Cork Anglo-Irish and the natives of Devon and 

Somerset extends beyond their manner of speak- 
ing, and is very obvious in their appearance and 
manners. Hermes. 

Among the instances of early English pronun- 
ciation remaining as provincialisms in Ireland, 
may be noticed the word "patron," pronounced 
"pattern," and used to signify the festival of a 
patron saint. The modern English word "pat- 
tern" is merely a corruption of the French 
"patron," the word for a model. The model 
used by a founder, in casting a statue, was pro- 
bably called the "patron" as being the likeness 
either of the patron saint or of the employer 
\jpatronus] meant to be represented. Hermes. 

The characters engraved on the stone found in 
the subterranean chamber at Connor (co. An- 
trim), and figured in your last number [p. 100], 
are clearly not an Ogham inscription. They are 
more probably Runic. We know from Olaus 
"Wormius that Eunic letters were inscribed by 
the old Scandinavians in every variety of situa- 
tion, apparently as charms for protecting their 
persons or property. They had them on the hilts 
of their swords, the sterns of their ships, their 
seats, drinking cups, and other domestic utensils. 
The letter X especially figures as a charm of this 
kind on many occasions ; and this letter is the 
one most distinctly shown in the Connor inscrip- 


tion. If we could be certain that the marks on 
the stone are really the remains of letters, I should 
have little hesitation in considering them as 
Kunic, and therefore the cave as Scandinavian. 


I do not know anything that would be more 
generally interesting than copies of old topo- 
graphical maps of the Irish provinces and coun- 
ties. Such are often necessary for understand- 
ing accounts of military movements, battles, 
&c, in former times. For instance, was 
" Mountjoy Fort," which figures so prominently 
in the war of 1G41, placed where Charlemont 
now is, or where else? T. H. P. 

Ancient Irish Cookery. [JNTotcs and Queries, 
vol. 6, p. 101.] Mention is made by your cor- 
respondent Axglicus, of the burnt stones found 
in quantities in parts of the County Cork. 
Keating refers to this mode of cooking in his 
History of Ireland. He says the ancient Irish 
were in the habit of digging two large pits, the 
one of which was for washing, the other for 
cooking. Stones heated red hot were thrown 
in, and upon these was laid the meat, bound up 
in green sedges or bulrushes. On this again 
was placed another layer of hot stones, then 
more meat, and so on till the required quantity 
was disposed of. The name given to such old 
spots in the South of Ireland by the people is 
Falavlala na Feine. 

13 ye- Law. We are constantly using terms in 
our ordinal'}' speech, into the origin of which we 
never think of inquiring. The expression JJyr- 
Law is one of these. Spelman says (alter re- 
ferring to the government of German towns, as 
described by CaJsar and Tacitus^ : ''These laws 

the Goths, the Swedes, the Danes, and Saxons, 
called Bi-lagines; from By, which in all these 
languages signifies 'a town,' and Lagk, or 
Laghne, which signifies 'laws,' as Gravius, 
Suecus, and our Saxon authors testify." We 
still see this old word, By, preserved in the 
names of innumerable towns and villages in 
England, such as Derby, Whitby, Selby, &c. 

H. P. 

Ieish jS"aji es of Towxlaxds. Every townland 
in Ireland has its designation. Many, if we refer 
to old deeds and charters, have several names, 
besides that which they now bear. In common 
(if I am not mistaken) with many other owners 
of land, I must plead guilty to great ignorance 
of the meaning of these ancient names. An in- 
quiry into this matter might probably be not 
considered foreign to the objects of the Uhter 
Journal of Archeology ; and it strikes me that it 
could not fail to be generally interesting, while 
in many cases it might be of much utility. 

Gosford Castle, Markethill. Gosfoed. 

When passing through the South of Ireland a 
few years ago, I met a negro gentleman (Mr. Car- 
tels) who had travelled very extensively ; in fact, 
there was scarcely any country that he did not ap- 
pear to have visited. He seemed an admirable 
linguist, and, in conversation, he mentioned tome 
that, having travelled across Central Africa, and 
become acquainted with the dialects there, he was 
able, when shown some Irish manuscripts in 
the library of Trinity College, Dublin, from his 
knowledge of these dialects, to translate several 
portions of them. 

I am aware many words in the Irish language 
are derived from the Latin ; but, if not mistaken, 


most, if not all of these, arc cither connected 
with "the Church/' or refer to circumstances 
and events with which our country could only 
have become acquainted through the Romans. 
But how arc we to account for an affinity between 
this language and the dialects of Central Africa? 
Belfast. Thomas If kxuy Punnox. 

Sacked Xorm:us. In the paper on the Sham- 
rock [Journal, vol. 5, p. 12], and the notes 
appended, there are references to the Egyptian 
superstitions respecting the sanctity of the num- 
ber three. "Whoever takes the trouble to wade 
through Plutarch's treatise on Isis and Osiris, 
and the doctrines of the Pythagorean philosophy, 
will find some wonderful properties and virtues 
ascribed to almost every number. Certain arith- 
mctrical or geometrical peculiarities are usually 
assigned as reasons for such especial reverence. 
Without detailing all the dogmas, it may suffice 
to notice that the beneficent divinity Oromasdes 
dgnated by the unit, the malignant deity 
Arcimanius by two, and Mithras, the mediator, 
by thr . This ascribing of evil to the number ticu 
seems to have given rise to the idea of ill-luck in 
that throw with the dice. Hence, too, the Prince 
of Darkness is among ourselves popularly called 
' ' the Deuce." Ac ain, the number owwas assigned 
to Apollo, two to Diana, and three to Minerva. 
Plutarch adds: "The number two [implies] 
strife and audacity, but the number three, jus- 
tice." He also notices thirty-six as a most holy 
number. Orosma<des is likewise said to have 
created six gods, and Areimanius six an: agonist 

At the same time, in Plutarch's treatise "Con- 
i !umg the EI in Delphi,'* sundry sage reasons 

are given for the consecration of the number five, 
as being made up of two and three as it were, 
wedded together. Connected with this idea, he 
has some remarks on the form of the Trefoil and 
the fig-leaf, and ivy-leaf, which do not well bear 

2\ow, it strikes me that, if Ave suppose the 
Druidical superstition to be more or less identical 
with these Oriental fancies, some light may be 
thrown on their practice. One of the Egyptian 
r tes consisted in pounding in a mortar a certain 
plant called Omomi, and casting it, mixed with 
the blood of a wolf, into a place inaccessible to 
sun-shine, invoking Hades and darkness. Could 
this plant have been the mistletoe, or any plant 
having, like it, its leaves in pairs? The Egyp- 
tians held some plants sacred to the good god 
and some to the evil one. The number two, we 
have seen, was devoted to the latter ; and what 
time was more fit for invoking darkness than the 
winter solstice ? In your editorial notes to the 
paper on the Shamrock, you remark the etymo- 
logical resemblance of the original name of this 
plant to that of the Sun ; and we have observed, 
that the number two was sacred to Diana, or the 
moon. Ail this seems to point to some early 
religious dogma, now lost in the obscurity of the 

Among the arithmetical whims of the Pytha- 
goreans was a dislike to the number seventeen, 
while holding sixteen and ciyhteen in estimation. 
I beg to suggest to Mr. Samuel Lover, that this 
would furnish as valid a reason as the one as- 
signed in his humorous song for the 17th of 
March being the birth- day of St. Patrick, the 
destroyer of Irish Druidism. The festival of 


Osiris was held at the time of the new moon, 
next the vernal equinox. The full moon, in a 
lunar month, falls about the seventeenth day, 
according to Plutarch's reckoning. Can the 1 7th 
of March have had any reference to the Paschal 
full moon? A great many other strange theories, 
arithmetical, geometrical, and musical, are given 
by Plutarch, in his treatise " On the Generation 
of the Soul." Trismegistus. 

The Scotch ix Ireland. A few days past, 
when looking over a very miscellaneous collection 
of papers, relating to commerce, colonies, &c, 
formerly belonging to Abraham Hill, a fellow 
and treasurer of the Eoyal Society, and one of 
the first commissioners of the Bean! of Trade 
when it was instituted in 1G9G, I found the fol- 
lowing memoranda, which may not be altogether 
devoid of interest to the readers of this Journal; 
as they happily illustrate an observation of Dr. 
Hume, in one of his valuable and interesting 
papers on Ulster ethnology, to the effect I quote 
from memory that Belfast, though originally an 
English town, in course of time became practi- 
cally a Scottish one; and they also show, what 
many writers, by the way, are apt to forget, 
that, previous to the Scottish union, the English 
and Irish people regarded Scotland as a foreign 
state; which, indeed, commercially, and, [may 
almost add. politically speaking, it really was. 
1 send the paper just as I found it, without 
either date or signature : lu' it is hound up with 
papers of 1697, and its own internal evidence 
declares it to be of that p riod. \V. Pixkkutox. 
'' Query. If true. 

1. That the Scots have got t into their hand- 
two-thirds of the of Ireland. 

2. That the monev thev crott bv the Kmali-h 

Armycs landing in the North, first putt them in 
Stock. That they presently traded to furnish 
the Armycs, & thenceforth went boldly into 
France, & had, for many years, connivance for 
all they imported, as it brought help & increase 
to the Publick Pew nue. 

3. That the sea; of the AVarr being in the 3 
other Provinces, all the plunder of black cattle 
was sent & driven into the North for Security, 
where they had plenty before : sue as the Mar- 
kctt went from thence to all other Parts, when 
the "Warr was over. 

4. That the greatest Destruction falling on 
the sheep, & England refusing to lett any goe 
over, a (as in 1654 had been allow' d, & for 3 
years after that Warr), these Merchants gott from 
Scotland to the value of 300 thousand pound- in 
Scotch sheep, which served for eating, till the 
remaynes of the better stock could multiply. 

5. That the last yearcs want of Corne in Sen; 
land brought over not lesse than 20 thousand 
poore, & not lesse than 30 thousand before, since 
ye Revolution. 

G. That altho' Belfast is now counted the 
second place of Trade ill Irchii.d, yett the 1 Scotch 
Merchant- are spread into a": other the Trading 
Townos of that kingdom, & are made Magistrates 
in their Turtles. They ait- g. m-rally frugal, 
industrious, wry national!, .'_ very helpful to 
each other again-t any Third. 

7. That this Temper is the same in their 
Gentry, who have gotten great authority in the 
Armye, tV. in the Parliament of that Kingdom. 

"Whether this growing wealth & power, if 
found true, will center at last in England or in 
Scotland, is worth Considciati >u." 

a For fear of encouraging hi-' ". n manufactures, 



Use of the Peonottn "Me." [vol. iii., p. 323,] 
The query proposed by Mr. Evans would 
have been long since answered, but that I 
doubted if the querist, or any other well- 
informed person, could really have been ignorant 
that the insertion of the pronoun "me," in such 
passages as he refers to in old English writers, 
was expletive, and had no separate meaning; 
merely giving intensity to the assertions by 
showing that the speaker's personal feelings 
were interested in the matter. Instances of this 
are abundant. A like idiom is familiar in Greek. 

T. H. P. 

" Survey dible" [Queries, vol. v., p. 352]. 
The inquirer is in error respecting the form of 
this word. It is " sevendible" without an /. I 
once knew a fisherman at Newcastle, in the Co. 
Down, give his son a severe beating, and on old 
man describing the act, said, "He tuk the wee 
fella be the scruff o' the nack, and blecchcd him 
most sevendibhj.'" The word is apparently 
" seven-double" that is, "seven-fold," and the 
adverb is formed regularly from the adjective. 
Many English words, like "double," take a 
secondary meaning in Ireland, which is purely 
provincial ; thus, we say an old man is bent 
' two double ;" but a cart rope is " three 
double," and a rustic whip-lash is "four double." 
Tlic well-known expression of Dr. Barrett sounds 
rational enough to a middle or lower class man 
in Ireland, though it tickles English cars: 
'All f; aul is quartered into three halves" Nebu- 

chadnezzar, who was a Babylonish king, gave 
orders to heat the burning fiery furnace " one 
seven times more than it was wont to be heated:" 
had he been a county Down man he would have 
simply said, "Heat it most scvcndibly.' n 

A. Hi 
Old Nick. [Queries, vol. v., p. 352; and vol. 
vi., p. 107.] Names of this kind are usually 
jocular or provincial at first, but, for the sake of 
convenience, they become expressive in a much 
wider circuit. St. Nicholas was the patron of 
sailors, and, until within the last two centuries, 
offerings to him were not unusual, before going 
to sea, in the maritime towns of England. A 
part of the same custom was the sending out of 
ships on a Sunday, "after they had received the 
prayers of the church." In such circumstances, 
it was easy to confound "Old Nick" with "the 
prince of the power of the air," especially as 
every unusual fact in meteorology or navigation' 
was then ascribed to supernatural causes. I have 
somewhere heard or read that the name " Old 
Harry," originated in the early part of the 16th 
century; the opponents of Henry VIII. identi- 
fying him with a supposed fiend. The name 
"Davy Jones," used by sailors, is a satirical 
allusion to the Welsh; and the allusion to his 
"locker" is explained by the second line in 
a nursery - rhyme descriptive of "Taffy." 
"llornie" and "Clootie" are names derived 
from the supposed personal appearance of Satan ; 
the English popular idea during the middle ages 


being apparently taken in part from the notion I and vc continually meet with the expressions 

of a Saracen or Moor, and, in fact, from that of j " pangere focdus, percutere fcedus," and " ferir* 

the Greek " Pan." In a Scottish poem, the Evil fcedus." This last idiom we know refers to a cus- 

One is called "Old llingan," a name evidently ' torn, when making a treaty, of striking a pig. 

corrupted from Saint "Xinian;" but why, I do ["Jupiter populum llomanum sic ferito, ut ego 

not know. Perhaps the functions of this saint 
were similar to those of St. Nicholas. A. II. 
Old Xick. This name for the Devil is not 

hunc porcum hodie feriam." Lie. lib. I.] We 
meet also the expressions "icere fcedus" and " icere 
pactum." The words pactum and pactio them- 

confined to English. The word, with slight selves, signifying " a bargain or agreement," are 

variations, is found in all the ^Northern Ian- derived from pango, "to strike a blow." Wc have 

guages; Danish KocTce, Swedish Ned;, Flemish ourselves the word compact in English, w\\<\ paction 

Necker, Finnish Nceki, German Nicies. In the in Scotch, ["They made a paction 'tween them 

Icelandic Edda, he is called Nikur, and seems twa."] .And we say, "to drive a bargain." 

to have been the water-deity or Kcptunc of the There is a quaint old phrase used in a letter of 

Scandinavian mythology. Hence the derivation the duke of Ormond's, dated 1.393, (quoted in 

hinted at by your correspondent Orisons [vol. this Journal, vol. <3, p. 202,} which 1 do not 

6, \). 107,] is merely fanciful. The name is ! recollect to have seen before, but which is very 

older than he supposes. Sexex. i expressive, and seems to refer to some similar 

Caves. [Queries, vol. v., p. 10,3.] Please in- i custom: "PromiscbeingmadebyJas.M r Sorley, 
form It. L. that I can show him, in the county &c * * but the other did not keep touch as he had 
of Derry, dozens of what arc called Dane* Forts, promised." The Latin word pollicco, "to pro- 
containing artificial caves. J. F. mist 1 ," has never been satisfactorily explained. 

O'Xeili's Stuciiax. [Queries, vol. 0, p. 108.] May it not be derived from paths, "the thumb," 

There is a townland, a little north of Xew- and have reference to some old custom, now un- 

Mills County Tyrone), the old name of which 
was Slut-Jitii). Its position seems to answer to 
that marked in Speed's map. IIekaies. 

To Sx hike a Baugaix. [Queries, vol. 5. 

known, of indicating, by a peculiar touch of the 
hand, that an agreement was solemnly made. 


CiAr-xitAP. [Queries, vol. v., p. 100.] The 

2o8.] The custom of ratifying a bargain or inquiry as to the origin of this phrase is easily 

agreement by a blow of the hand seems to have answered, ('lapping with the hands is a usual 

been quite usual among various ancient nations. mode of applauding public speakers ; and "clap- 

The itomans had a great mam' ways of ex- trap" accordingly means a trap to catch applause, 

pressing the making of a bargain, and all of This is mentioned in one of the published letters 

them allude to the blow or touch of the hand. of Southey; not explained, but alluded to as 

Thus " Fidcm sancire dextra" 1 is u-cd bv Livy ; being known. J. J. M. 


Q U E K I E S 

Arc there, among our relies of antiquity, any 
remains of chariots? Are there any distinct 
proofs of their use recorded in ancient Irish 
poems or MSS. ? How was it possible to em- 
ploy them in a country so overspread with wood, 
and latterly with bogs, and badly provided with 
roads ? T. H. P. 

Is it true that frogs are not indigenous in Ire- 
land? O'Reilly's Irish Dictionary gives the 
word " losf/cui" as the name of the frog, and 
M c Curtin's dictionary gives another word " cna- 
dan" for the same. These words do not seem to 
be borrowed from any other language, and would 
therefore prove that the animal was known to 
the ancient Irish. Are these names for the frog 
still in use among the Irish-speaking population? 


In the "Epistle Dedicatory" to Boate's Ire- 
land's Nat ur all History, published in 1652, the 
following passage occurs : " I lookt also some- 
what upon the hopefull appearance of replanting 
Ireland shortly, not only by the Adventurers, 
but happily by the calling in of exiled Bohe- 
mians and other Protestants also, and happily by 
the invitation of some well-affected out of the 
Low Countries." Can any of your readers in- 
form me what were the Bohemians here referred 

to, and whether any of them came to Ireland ? 


I have never met with a satisfactory deriva- 
tion for the word " Tory," as applied to a political 
party. Perhaps your correspondents may be able 
to enlighten me. QnsQns. 

What is the origin of the word "bon-fire?" 
Johnson, in his dictionary, makes it a compound 
of the French bon, good, and the English fire ; 
but besides the improbability of such a combina- 
tion, when it would be as short and as easy to 
say "good-fire" as "bon-fire," lean see no good 
reason for this derivation. Cmiosus. 

The use of mead as a beverage seems to have 
been universal in ancient Ireland. Is it known 
at what period it Avas last used ? I am not aware 
that even the mode of making it is now known 
in any part of the country. Axglicus. 

I am anxious to know where I can find a 
satisfactory account of the popular notions re- 
garding the Banshee, and of the origin of that 
singular superstition. Most of the notices of the 
subject which I have met with are vague and 
superficial. Gr. ML. 

"What is the actual legend of the " Bloody 
Hand," adopted as the arms of Ulster? And 
where is the original to be found? A. H. 





It is now universally admitted by the learned, that the Gaeidhil or/ ancient inhabitants of Ireland 
and of the Highlands of Scotland and the Cymri or ancient Britons are the descendants of the 
Celtao of Gaul, and retain dialects flowing from the language of that people. But the invariable 
tradition of the Gaedhil themselves is that they came from Spain to Ireland ; and it is highly pro- 
bable that the Milesian Irish were a colony from Celtiberia. 

The earliest writer who mentions the Celtco is Herodotus, who flourished abont 413 years before 
Christ. He states that the Ccltoe and Cynetac dwelt in the remotest quarters of Europe, towards 
the setting sun, near the source of the Ister and the City (rather, mountain,) of Pyrcne; but the 
most copious and valuable account of them which has descended to us, is contained in Caesar's 
Commentaries on the Gallic Avar, written about 44 years before the birth of Christ. In this work 
they arc described as a numerous and warlike people, who occupied nearly one-half of Gallia or 
France : their territories were bounded on the south by the river Garumna (now the Garonne J ; on 
the north by the Sequana (the Seine) and Matrona (the IfarneJ; on the east by Mount Jura ; and 
on the west by the Atlantic ocean. 

A colony of the same people occupied a great part of the north of Spain, where they were called 
Celtibcri. They had crossed the Pyrenees from Gaul, and settled at first on the river Ibcrus (the 
EbroJ, from which they were called Celt-Iberi. These, who were probably the ancestors of the 
Ccltae, or Gaedhil, or Milesians, of Ireland, are described as the most powerful and warlike of all 
the tribes or nations of Spain. 

In the first chapter of the first book of the Commentaries of the Gallic war, Caesar remarks that 
the people called Celtic in their own language, were styled Galli in the Roman or Latin tongue, but 
nothing is to be found in the Commentaries to throw any light upon this difference of name. The 
probability, however, is, that the Romans called them Galli, i.e. cocks, from their pomposity and 
courage, though some are of opinion that Galli was hut the Romanized pronunciation of Celta. At 
the present day the Welsh call the Irish and Highlanders Guydhill, and the two latter now style 
themselves Gaoidhil or Gaedhil, suppressing the dh in the present pronunciation, as the English do 
their gh, though it i> probable that they pronounced the dh originally, as the Welsh do at present. 


The identity of the race of the Celtic of Gaul with that of the ancient inhabitants of Britain and 
Ireland has been argued from the same work, [lib. iii. c. 13,] where it is stated that the great school 
of the Druids of Gaul was in Britain." The next authority relied on in proof of this identity is 
Tacitus, who, in his Life of Agricola, [e. xi.,] states that " there is very little difference between the 
oil and climate, the religious worship, and dispositions of the inhabitants of Ireland and those of 

Of the language of the Ccltoo of Gaul we have no undoubted specimen to shew its grammatical 
construction ; but there are various detached words of it preserved by the classical writers, which 
afford strong ground for believing that it was a kindred tongue with the original dialects of the 
British islands. A curious list of the words so preserved was published at Lipsia in 1736, by 
Joannes Augustinus Egcnolf, who seems not to have known that they bore any affinity to the Welsh 
or Gaelic of the British isles. In this list I find aber, a harbour or mouth of a river ; alp, a moun- 
tain ; arden, a wood ; barr, loud singing or shouting ; bardi, poets ; baril, a barrel ; baro or vara, a 
soldier ; bod, earth ; bracchw, femoralia ; brenn or bryn, a helmet ; brog or brag, a district ; bron, the 
breast ; bulga, a leather bag ; cad, a battle ; cam, a rock ; celia, beer ; cucullus, a Gallic cowl or 
covering for the head, mentioned by Martial ; dene, an oak ; dunum, a city ; gario, rough, fierce ; 
glas, green ; lama, a Gallic covering or shirt of linen, mentioned by Strabo ; lug, light ; maer, a 
superintendant ; mar, a horse ; mor, the sea ; pyren, beer ; vargi, robbers. 

Pinkerton, in whose time Yallancey and others carried their ideas of the ancient civilisation of 
the Celts beyond due bounds, attempts to counteract the influence of their writings by assertions 
equally bold, and move groundless than anything they had advanced. "The real Celtic," he 
aborts, "is as remote from the Greek as the Hottentot from the Lapponic. The mythology of the 
Celtic resembled, in all probability, that of the Hottentots, or others of the rudest savages, as the 
Celta) b anciently were, and are little better at present, being incapable of making any progress in 

jS'nw, without wishing to indulge in any of that Celto-mania which characterises the writings of 
the Irish and Welsh antiquaries of the last century, I may remark that Pinkerton has here calcu- 
lated too much on the thoughtlessness or ignorance of his readers, for neither he nor any one else 
knew or knows a word of the ancient history of the Celtce, except what is contained in the classical 
authors, and especially in the sixth book of Caesar's Commentaries ; from which it is clear that the 
Celtic of (hml had made considerable progress in civilization ; that they had an order of priests 

a " Dwciplina in Britannia rcperta atque hide in Gal- the name themselves, but always understood it to he that 

Ham translata esse existimatur: et nunc qui diligentius of the ancient inhabitants of France-^ " Scoti sumus 

cam rem cojrnoscerc volunt, plcrumque illo disceudi tioiiGalli" " We are Gaels, not Galls'* Vit. JIalachice. 

causa proficiscuntur-" But as soon as the writers who wished to favour them had 

b The name.6V.7/ct is here applied to the Irish by Pink- succeeded in making the literary public believe that the 

erton. The earlier calumniators knew nothing of the ancient Irish were Celtce, then their enemies endea- 

word c.'i.r, as ppplied to the Irish. It was never applied voured, withjall their might, to prove that their ancestors 

to th in before the 17th century- They never assumed of Gaul were mere savages ! 


called Druids, who believed in and inculcated the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, and of tho 
metempsychosis; that they offered various sacrifices ; that they worshipped Mjrcury as their favourite 
god, because they believed that he was the inventor of all the arts, and the promoter of mercantile 
affairs, and of the acquisition of money ; that next after Mercury they worshipped Apollo, Mars, 
Jupiter, and Minerva, of whom they had nearly the same notions as other nations, viz. that Apollo 
cured diseases; that Minerva gave origin to works and arts; that Jupiter ruled the gods; that Mars 
presided over wars, and that they wore wont to offer him whatever they took in war/ 

Caesar says, on the other hand, of the Germans, that they had no Druids to preside over religious 
affairs, and that they paid no attention to sacrifices ; that they only worshipped those gods whom 
they see with their own eyes, and by whose power they are manifestly benefited, such as the Sun, 
Fire, and the Moon. In these passages, the true line of distinction between the Teutonic and 
Celtic races is drawn by this great Roman general and statesman, a distinction which nearly holds 
good to the present day, after the lapse of nineteen centuries, and the varied admixture of the two 

As to whether the Celtic race is capable of making any progress in society, it would take more 
than mere assertion to decide the question. The ancient Irish people (who were, in reality, the 
Celts whom Pinkerton had in view) were the teachers of letters and religion to the Saxons in 
Britain, and to various other Teutonic people, as we shall presently see ; but this question has been 
lately so well considered by Dr. Pritchard, and other distinguished men of the Celtic race, that I 
do not think it necessary to dwell upon the wild theories and prejudiced conclusions of this cham- 
pion of the Goths. I shall proceed to lay before the reader certain facts regarding the ancient moral 
and physical condition of the Gaeidhil. of which the writers on both sides the Celto-maniac and 
Anti-Celtic have taken but slight notice. 

Many of the customs of the pagan Irish have unquestionably been totally obliterated by 
Christianity, as can be directly proved ; for example, no reference to cremation is found in any 
fragment of ancient Irish history now known to exist ; and still i! is clear, from many unquestion- 
ably pagan sepultures recently examined, that the pagan Irish were wont to burn their dead, and 
deposited the ashes in urns of considerable beauty. The Celtic of Caul not only burned the chief- 
tain himself, but also threw into the fire such things a-- had been (bar to him during life, such as 
favourite animals, and, before' Ca'sar's lime, favourite slaves and faithful followers. 

One custom which prevailed among the Gauls in Ciesar's time was preserved in Ireland till the 
reign of .lames I., namely, that the son was not publicly brought before the father till he was (it to 
bear arms.' 1 

' Ctosiir O'lirnu ,1'- li'v v: c 14- munus militia; sustimiv possunt, pal:\m ad se adiro non 

'In ri'lii|uis viUo inMitiuis ln'.c \\r<- ;ih i " ;; : : patiuntur : filiiiiiHpii; piu-rili letato, in publico, in cm- 

liiiVviiiit, ij hi >d slip's liboru.-, ni.-i -; mm a . ii i, ut sp ctu patris a i-i-i. iv. turpi; ducunt." lib. vi . c. 18. 


Another point of agreement between the Celtoe of Gaul and Gaedhil of Ireland is the belief of 
both in the transmigration of souls. Of this belief the most ancient traditional Irish stories furnish 
many instances, as the legend of Fintan, the Methusalem of Irish tradition, who is said to have 
survived the deluge, and to have lived down to the sixth century, when he conversed with St. 
Finian of Movilla. 

Another argument, on which I beg here to emphatically dwell, may fairly be deduced from the 
great stature of the Celta? of Gaul and Gaedhil of Ireland. In the 30th chapter of the second book 
of the Commentaries, Caesar makes the following allusion to the great stature of the Aduatici, in 
comparison with the short stature of the Eomans : 

" And on the first arrival of our army, they made frequent sallies from the town, and contended 
in small battles with our men. Afterwards having fortified themselves with a rampart twelve feet 
in height, and fifteen thousand feet in ambit, and with numerous castles they kept within the town. 
When the mantlets were advanced and a mound constructed, they saw a tower being erected at a 
distance, they began first to mock from the wall, and to upbraid the llomans by speeches : saying, 
to what purpose was such a machine set up, at such a distance. With what hands, or with what 
force, did they expect to bring forward a turret of such a bulk to the walls, especially as they were 
men of such small stature (for our short stature is a matter of derision to most Gaulish men, in 
comparison with the magnitude of their own bodies.") e 

These Avere the Aduatici, who were Belgae ; but the observation in parentheses alludes to the 
great stature of the Gauls in general. That the ancient Gaedhil or Scoti of Ireland were remarkable 
for their sreat stature, vigour, and valour, we have various authorities to prove. 

The first important notice of the valour of the inhabitants of Ierne, or Ireland, is found in the 
poet Claudian, who describes the success of Stilicho in repelling them. "By him," says this poet, 
speaking in the person of Britannia, "was I protected when the Scot moved all Ierne against me, 
and the sea foamed with hostile oars." f From another of this poet's eulogies it appears that 
the fame of that Roman legion, which had guarded the frontier of Britain against the invading 
Scots and Pitts, procured for it the distinction of being one of those summoned to the banner of 
Stilicho, when the Goths threatened Home : 

" Venit et extremis legio praetenta Britannis, 
Quae Seoto dat troena truci, ferroque notatas 
Perlegit exanimes Picto moriente figuras." e 

The Scot here referred to by Claudian was no other than the celebrated Irish monarch, Dathi, who, 

"Ac, piimoadventu exercitiisnostri crebras exoppido suorum, brevilas nostra contemptui est) tanti oueris 

exeursiones faciebant, parvulisque prseliis cum nostris turrini in muros collocare confiderent?" 

contendebant : postea vallo pedum xii in circuitu xv ' " Totam cum Scotus Iernen 

miHium, crebri^que castellis cirummuniti oppido sese Movit, et inl'esto spumavit remige Tethys." 

contineljant. Ubi vim is actis ajrgere exstructo turrim, s" There arrived also the legiou spread over the further- 

procul constitui viderunt, primum irridere ex muro, most Britons, 

atque increpitare voeibus, quotanta machinatio ab tanto Which bridles the ferocious Scot, and examines on the 

spatio instituei-t tur ? quibusnam manibus aut quibus dying Pict 

viribus, prsesertim liomines tantultc stature (uam The hideous figures punctured by the steel." 
pleritque hominibus Gallis, pra; magnitudine corporum 


according to the Irish annals, succeeded Niall of the Nine Hostages on the throne of Tara in the 
year 406, and was slain in Gaul in the year 429. 

A very remarkable reference is made to the great stature of two Scotic ecclesiastics residing at 
Rome about the year 387, by St. Jerome, in his Demonstratio quod Christus sit Dew. The one was 
Cclestius, a follower of the heresiarch Pelagius, and the other Albinus, his disciple. He calls th e 
one " Scotorum pultibus prcegravatus,'' , and the other, " Albinum, canem grandem et corpulentum, et 
qui calcibus magis possit savire quam dentibus. Habet enim progeniem Scoticce gentis de Britanno- 
rum vicinid} 1 

Some have thought that by " Scotorum pultibus" i.e., Scottic stirabout, St. Jerome meant the 
Pelagian heresy ; but pmgravatus evidently applies to his corpulency. It is much more reasonable 
to believe that he alluded to the national food of the Scoti, which remains the national diet to this 
day among the Scots of North Britain, and had been much used and valued by the Scoti of Ireland 
until the potato supplanted it, to the great multiplication but deterioration of the race. But prce- 
gravatus is evidently applied to describe the corpulency of a huge debater, " who could argue better 
with kicks than syllogisms," qui calcibus magis possit scevire quam dkxtibus who could kick 
better than he could argue with his teeth. The figure is not very correct, but it is good enough 
for an old gentleman who was iiogged by an angel for reading Cicero, and who saw the Scoti or 
Attacoti in Gallia cat the thighs and nates of boys, and the breasts of girls. 

Passing over some fabulous accounts of the gigantic stature of the ancient Irish, quoted by Ussher 
and others, 1 we find the following most important and interesting description of the stature and 
personal appearance of the ancient Irish race at the period of the English invasion, before they had 
received any admixture of Saxon or Norman blood. Giraldus Cambrensis, who came over to Irc- 

h "Over-fatted with Scottish stirabout; and the other in Ulster, in the first century : and of Finn Mac Cum- 

Albiuus, a huge and corpulent dog, and one better qua- haill and his heroes, towards the middle of the third, 

lined to argue with kicks than words, for ho derives Traditions of this nature exist among all ancient nations; 

his origin from the Scotic nation in the neighbourhood but they prove nothing but the tendency in the human 

of Britain," mind to exaggeration, and the respect which men have 

1 In the year 1 157, it is stated in the Annals of Clo?i- had, at all times, for great stature and valour. 
macnoise and of the Four Masters, that the head of Eochy Stories of this kind are found in the histories of every 
Mac Luclita, who was king of North Minister in the first country in the world, even the most civilised, and 
century, was, this year, taken out of the earth, at Fin- coming down to a comparatively recent period. " In 
corey. It was of such wonderful bigness that it might the year 1501 (as we are gravely informed), a country- 
be compared to a large cauldron. The largest goose man digging deep into the earth, near Rome, discovered 
might easily pass through the two hoh S of his eyes, and a tomb of stone, wherein lay a body, so tall, that, being 
through the hole of the spinal marrow In the oldest placed erect, it overtopped the walls of that city, and 
lives of the Irish Apostle, St. Patrick, it is said that he was as entire as if newly buried, having a very largo 
resuscitated a giant, Glas Mac Cas, who was 120 feet wound on the breast, and a lamp burning at the head, 
high! which could neither be extinguished by wind nor water; 

In the Amiuh' of Clonmacnoise, it is recorded that so that they were forced to perforate the bottom of the 

Muirchertach More Mac Frca, monarch of Ireland in lamp, and by that means put out the flame. This was 

the sixth century, was fifteen feet high ! said to be the body of Pallas, slain by Turnus, the fol- 

Entries of this description are, however, only records lowing verses being inscribed on the outside of the 

of the crcduliiyof our ancestors Nearly in a similar sepulchre: 

light I view all our poetical stories about the stature " Filius F.vandri Pallas, quern laneea Turni 

and unmatched valour of tie- heroes of the Red Branch Militis occidit ; more suo jacet hie." 


land first about the year 1183; and again in 1185, as tutor to John, Earl of Morton, afterwards 
king of England, wrote a series of chapters on the topography, history, manners and customs 
of the Irish. In his Topographia Ribernim (Dist. i., c. xix.), where he treats " Be feris ear unique 
naturis," h says that all the animals of Ireland were smaller than those he had seen elsewhere, 
and that man alone retained hit majesty of stature J 

Again, in the same work (Dist. iii., c. x), where he treats " Be Gentis istius naturd moribus et 
cultu," he states that the Irish knew nothing of artificial nursing, but that they nevertheless grew 
up by nature into most beautiful, tall, symmetrical, and strong persons, of well-formed and well- 
coloured faces. k 

The only Irishman whose person he describes in particular is Dermot Mac Morrough, king of 
Leinster ; and this, coupled with his general description of the Irish as a race, is sufficient to satisfy 
any man that the Gaedhil of Ireland, in the 12th century, were as tall as the Celtae of Gaul were 
in Caesar's time. Giraldus says that Dermiciuswas a man " of grand stature, of very large body, a 
man bold and warlike. From his continual shouting in war his voice was hoarse ; he had rather 
be feared than loved by all; he was an oppressor of the nobles, an exalter of the humble," dfee. 1 

We find no other particular reference to the stature or physical capabilities of the ancient Irish 
race till the reign of Richard II., A.I). 1399, when the seventh in descent from this Dermot (Art, 
sim of Art, son of Murtough, son of Maurice, son of Murtough, son of Donnell, son of Donnell 
Kavanagh, son of the Dermot above mentioned by Giraldus) is thus described by the author of 
tlu 1 Ui*toire du Roy d'Angleterre, Richard who was himself an eye-witness of the scene : 

" Among the gentlemen, I was one that went with the Earl of Gloucester to see Mac Murrough, 
bis behaviour, estate, and forces, &c. From a mountain, between two woods, not far from the sea, 
we saw Mac Murrough descending, accompanied by multitudes of the Irish, and mounted upon a 
horse without a saddle, which cost him, it was reported, 400 cows. His horse was fair, and, in his 
descent from the hill to us, ran as swift as any stag, hare, or the swiftest beast I have ever seen. 
In his right hand he bore a long spear, which, when near the spot where he was to meet the earl, 

J " Ut autem breviter complectnr : omnium anima- a cunctis quam diligi malens ; nobilium oppressor, hu- 

lium ferarumque, et avium corpora hie quam alibi suo milium erector, infestus suis, exosus alienis," &c. Hib. 

in genere minora reperies : solis hominibus suam reti- Expug , lib. i., c. vi. 

neiitibus majestatem." m The writer of the Ilistoirc du Roy d 'Anglcterre, 

'- '-Non in eunabulis aptantur. Non fasciis alligan- Richard, gives an account in French metre of the four or 

tur, mm frequent ibus in balneis tenera membra vel five last months of Richard II s reign. Of this very 

foventur vel artis juvamine componuntur, &c Sed sola curious tract there exist two MSS.,one of which is in the 

nature, quos edidit artus, prater artis cujuslibet admi- British Museum, and the other in the library at Lambeth 

niculaprusuiarbitrioet componit etdisponit. Tanquam Palace. A translation of that portion of the story which 

itaque probans quid per se valeat fingcre, non cess/it et relates to Ireland was made by Sir George Carew, Pre- 

ngurare quousque in robur per tectum, pulcherrimis et sident of Munster in the latter part of the reign of 

proc tis corporibus, et colore tissimis vultibus homines Elizabeth, and published by Harris in his llibernica, pp. 

istos provehat et produeat." 4:) to 58. But the entire narrative has beeu recently 

1 ' Erat autem Dermicius vir staturx grandis et cor- translated, and published in the twentieth volume of the 

pore peramplo : vir b 'llicosus et audax in gente sua : ex Archceolugvi, bv the Kev. J. Webb, 
en bi u continuoque belli clamore vote raucisona. Timeri 


he cast from him with much dexterity. [Here see the appearance that he made exactly pourtrayed."] 
The crowd that followed him then remained behind, while he advanced to meet the carl, near a small 
brook. He was tall of stature, well composed, strong and active ; his countenance fierce and cruel." 
"Entre deux bois assex loing de la mer 

Macquemore la montaigne avaler 

Vy, et dirloiz, que pars ne s-cay nombrer 

Y ot foison. 

Un clieval ot sans sele ne areon 

Qui lui avoit couste, ce disoit on, 

Quatreces vaches tant estoit bel et bon. 

Deulx deux fut la lassemblee faite 

Pres dun missel. 

La se maintin Macquemore : asselz bel 

Grans homs estoit, a raarveillez ysnel. 

A vous dueil sembloit fort fier et fel, 

Et homs de fait." Archtcologia, vol. xx.. p. 40. 
Speaking of his men, he writes that Mac Murrough's army consisted of 3000 stout men. such as, 
it appeared to him, the English marvelled to behold, 

" They assailed us often both in the van and rear, casting their darts with such might, as no 
habergeon, or coat of mail, were of sufficient proof to resist their force, their darts piercing them 
through both sides. Our foragers, that strayed from their fellows, were often murdered [killed] 
by the Irish ; for they were so nimble and swift of foot, that, like unto stags, they ran over moun- 
tains and valleys, whereby we received great annoyance and damage." 

A general description of the vigour and flcetness of the Irish in the same reign is given by the 
French chronicler, Froissart, who received his information from an English gentleman, named 
Henry Castidc, who had been married to an Irishwoman, and who was appointed by Richard II., 
on bis first visit to Ireland in 1391, to instruct the Irish kings and chieftains in the dress, cere- 
monies, and manner of behaviour, which would be required of them at court. From his dictation 
Froissart writes : 

"But I shewe you bycause ye should knowe the truth. Ireland is one of the yvell countrcis of 
the world to make warre upon, or to bring under subjection, for it is closed strongely and wydcly 
with high forests and great waters and maresshes and places [un] inhabytable ; it is bard to entre 
to do them of the country anie domage. . . . For a man of anus beyng never so will horsed, 
and ran as fast as he can, the Yrisshemen wyll ryn afote as faste as lie, and overtake bym, yea, 
and leap up upon his horse behynde him, and drawe hym from Ins horse." Froissart, Johne's 

Henry Castide, from whose dictation Froissarl wrote the above passage, had been himself taken 

The figure of Mao Murrousrh, which is jriven in the MS. in the British Museum, is engraved as a~vignettc in 
th,' thir 1 volume of this ,/. . p. ">5 , 


prisoner in a skirmish in Lcinster, by an Irish chieftain, whose daughter he married, and with 
whom he lived for many years in the country. He was well acquainted with the Irish language, 
and was, therefore, employed by King Richard to instruct the native chieftains, as already men- 
tioned. The manner of his capture is thus described by the French chronicler : 

" It chanced that in this pursuit my horse took fright, and ran away with me, in spite of all my 
efforts, into the midst of the enemy. My friends could never overtake me; and in passing through 
the Irish, one of them, by a great feat of agility, leaped on the back of my horse, and held me tight 
with both his arms, but did me no harm with lance or knife. . . . He seemed much rejoiced 
to have made me his prisoner, and carried me to his house, which was strong, and in a town sur- 
rounded with wood, palisades, and stagnant water. The gentleman who had taken me was called 
Brin Castcrct, a very handsome man. I have frequently made inquiries after him, and hear that 
he is still alive, but very old. This Brian Casteret kept me with him seven years, and gave me his 
daughter in marriage, by whom I have two girls." Froissart, Johne's translation. 

The next curious reference to the warlike vigour and courage of the ancient Irish is found in a 
letter written to King Henry VIII. by the Lord Deputy St. Leger, from Maynooth, on the 6th of 
April, 1543. In this letter, St. Leger goes on to state that he had heard a report that " his Ma- 
jestic was about to go to war with Prance or Scotland, and requests to know his Majesty's pleasure if 
he should raise a body of native Irish soldiers to attend him in the invasion of France;" and lie 
then proceeds as follows : 

" But in case your Majestie will use their service into Fraunce, your Highncs must then be at 
some charges with them ; ffor yt ys not in their possibilitie to take that journey without your 
helpc ; for tlier ys no horseman of this lande but he bathe his horse and his two boyes, and two 
hackeneys, or one hackeney and two chieffe horse, atthcleste, whose wages must be according; and of 
thcmselffes they have no ryches to ffurnyshc the same. And, assuredly, I think that for ther ffeatc 
of warre, whiche ys for light scoores, ther ar no propercr horsemen in Christen ground, nor more 
bardie, nor yet that can better indurc hardeness. I thinke your Majestie may well have of them 
ffyvc hundred, and leave your Englishe Pale well ffurnysshed. And as to ther ffootemen they have 
one sort whiche be harnessed in mayle and basscnettes, having every of them his weapon called a 
sparre, moche like the axe of the Towre, and they be named Galloglasse ; and for the more part 
ther boyes bearc for them thre darts a peice, whiche clartes they throw er they come to the hande 
stripe : these sort of men be those that doo not lightly abandon the ffcilde, but b>/dc the brunt to the 
deathe. The other sorte callid kerne ar naked men, but onely their shcrts and small coates; and 
many tymes whan they come to the bycker, but bare nakyd saving ther shurts to hyde ther 
prcvyties; and those have dartcs and shortc bowes : whiche sorte of people be bothe hardy and 
clyver to scrchc woddes or morasses, in the which they be harde to be beaten. And if your Ma- 
ostie will convert them to Morespikes and hand-gonncs I thinke they wolde in that ffeatc, with 


small instructions, doo your Highnes great service ; ffor as for gonners tlier be no better in no land 

then they be, for the nomber they have, whiche be more than I wolde wishe they had, onles yt 

wer to serve your Majestic And also these two sortes of people be of suche hardencss that ther 

ys no man that ever I sawe that will or can endure the payncs and cvill flare that they will sus- 

taync; ffor in the sommer, when corne ys nere rype, they seke none other meatc in tyme of ncde, 

but to scorke or swyll the eares of wheat, and eate the same, and water to ther drinke ; and with 

this they passe ther lyves ; and at all tymes they eate such meate as ffew other could ly ve with. 

And in case your pleasure be, to have them in readynes to serve your Majestic in any these sortes, 

yt may then please the same, as well to signifie your pleasure therein, as also what wages 1 shall 

trayne them unto. And so, having knowledge of your pleasure therein, I shall endeavour mysclffe, 

according my most bounden (luetic, to accomplishe the same. The sooner I shall have knowledge 

of your pleasure in that behaffe, the better I shal be liable to perform it. 

From your Majestic' s castell of Maynothe, 

the 6th of April, 1543. 

Anion x Skxtlkgeb. 

[Sec State Tapers, vol. iii., p. 3, p. 441. London, 1831.] 

Tn the February following, this lord deputy was recalled to give the king an account of his 
administration of affairs in Ireland; and Sir William Brubazon wa.s sworn lord justice in his stead, 
lie sent the king one thousand native Irish troops to Calais, under the command of three Anglo- 
Irish Captains, Poer, Butler, and Skurloek, the two former being nephews of the Earl of Ormond. 
A curious list of these men is preserved in the State Paper Office, London. 

The praises bestowed on the daring valour of this Irish corps at the siege of Boulogne is scarcely 
credible, lloliugshed writes that they were very serviceable to the king at the siege of Boulogne, 
and did much mischief; for being light of foot, they would often range twenty or thirty miles into 
the country, and as they returned, would burn and spoil wherever they came. " They had a pretty 
trick to get a prey; which was to tie a bull to a stake, and set fire about him, and as the fire 
scorched him, the bull would bellow, and thereupon all the cattle within healing of him would 
ilock that way, and so were taken. These Irishmen would never give quarter; and therefore, 
whensoever the frenchmen took any of them, they gelded them, and otherwise tormented them 
exceedingly. Alter the surrender of Bulloign, a large Frenchman, on the other side of the haven, 
braved and defied the Knglish army; whereupon one Nicholas did swim over the river, and cut off 
the Frenchman's head, and brought it back over the river in his mouth, for which bold action he 
was bountifully rewarded." '>'<< HuUinifxhrd \ Chn>nh-b\ //. 103; and Hibrmia Aivjlicana, 
p. 277.] At these and other wild feats of courage performed by the Irish kerne, the French, 
astonished, sent an ambassador to inquire of King Henry, " whether he bad brought with him men 
ur </,-rilr[ 11,1,1. ' 

von. vr. 2n 


Tlie next notice of the personal appearance of the ancient Irish is found in a History of Ireland, 
written in the year 1567, by the celebrated Jesuit, Edmund Campion, who writes in his Historic 
of Ireland, (chap, vi.): " Cleare men they are of skinn and hue, but of themselves careless and 
bcstiall. Their women are well-favoured, clear-coloured, fair-handed, bigge and large, suffered 
from their infancie to grow at will, nothing curious of their feature and proportion of body." 
And again: " Their ladies are trimmed rather with massie Jewells then with garish apparell; it is 
counted a beauty in them to be tall, round, and fat." \_Ibid.~] 

The next writer who notices the stature of the native Irish is the poet Spenser, who, in his View 
of the State of Ireland, written in the year 1596, has the following remark upon the Irish horse- 
man : "I have heard some great warriours say, that in all the services which they had scene abroade 
in foreigne countreyes, they never saw a more comely man than the Irish man, nor that cometh on 
more bravely to his charge ; neither is his manner of mounting unseemly, though he lacke stir- 
ruppes, but more ready than with stirruppes, for in his getting up his horse is still going. \_Dnb. 
Ed. p. 116.] Again, " Yet sure they are very valiaunt and hardie, for the most part great indurers 
of colde, labours, hunger, and all hardnesse ; very active and strong of hand ; very swift of foot ; 
very vigilant and circumspect in their enterprises, very present in perils, very great scorners of 
death." [p. 119.] 

The next author who mentions this subject is Fynes Moryson, who was secretary to the Lord 
Mountjoy, 1599-1603. Speaking of the smallncss of the Irish cattle, he writes in his Description 
of the State of Ireland: " By this abundance of cattle, the Irish have a frequent though somewhat 
poor traffick for their hides, the cattle being in general very little (small), and only the men and the 
greyhounds are of great stature." He remarks more than once that the Irish were firmer on foot, 
and had a stronger push of the spear than either the English or Spaniards. 

The next writer who notices the stature and characteristics of the native Irish is John Dymoke, 
who wrote about the year 1599. His words arc: "The people are of nature vain-glorious, francke, 
irofull, goodc horsemen, able to endure great paynes, delighted in warr ; great hospitallitye ; 
of religion for the most parte Papists ; great gluttons, and of a sensuall and vitious lyfe ; deep dis- 
semblers, secret in displeasure, of a crcwell revenginge minde, and irrcconsiliable. Of witt they 
are quickc and capable ; kinde-hearted where they take, and of excecdinge love towardes their 
foster-brethren. Of complexion they are cleare and well-favored, both men and weomen ; tall and 
corpulent bodies, and of themselves careless and bcstiall." [See Tracts relating to Ireland, printed for 
the Irish Arclueological Society, vol. ii. p. 6.] 

These historical passages can never be obliterated, but must remain as evidences of the great 
stature and valour of the native Irish race as long as this world shall last. 

I could adduce various instances of individual Irishmen of the Gaelic race? who have been des- 
cribed by their contemporaries as of gigantic frame, such as Florence MacCarthy, who was born in 


1554, and who is described by Sir George Carew as taller by the head and shoulders than his fol- 
lowers; and Morgan Kavanagh, governor of Prague in 1 766, described by contemporary writers as the 
largest man in Europe ; some of whose relatives are still extant in Germany, and were described by 
Professor Nermann, of Vienna, in 1844, as the tallest men in Germany: they are the descendants of 
Brian na-stroice Kavanagh, who was the largest man in King James the II. 's army. BigMagrath, 
whose skeleton is preserved in the anatomical museum of Trinity College, Dublin ; and John 
O'Neill of Banville, in the county of Down, who is described by Dr. Stuart, in his History of 
Armagh, as "a man most remarkable for prodigious strength, majestic form, princely deportment, 
affable manners, and unbounded benevolence." \j>p. 130, 630.1 

I shall conclude by a few quotations more from persons who arc still living or recently dead. 
One from Sir Richard Musgrave, who, describing the family of O'Dowda in Lower Connanght, 
says, in his Memoirs of the different Rebellions in Ireland, "This family counted twenty-four castles on 
their extensive estate, many of which are still in existence, and they have a burying place appro- 
priated to them in the abbey of Moyne, where may be seen the gigantic bones of some of them who 
have been remarkable for their great stature, as one of them having exceeded seven feet in height." 

The late O'Driscoll (William, son of Denis, son of Florence), who died at Stoke, near Plymouth, 
in the year 1851, is described by his son William Henry, the present O'Driscoll, as a magnificent 
specimen of the old Milesian Irish race: "mighty of limb and strong of sinew, very tall, and broad 
in proportion; of noble countenance, and in pitch of body like a giant." 

Richard Donovan, Esq., Clerk of the Crown for the County of Cork, describes the characteristics 
of the last two famous O'Driscolls of the County of Cork, in a letter to myself, written in 1849, as 

" The late Alexander O'Driscoll, Esq., J. P., of Norton Cottage, Skibbcrcen, was the son of 
Timothy O'Driscoll, who was, in appearance, far beyond the ordinary run of men, being remarkably 
handsome, tall, and athletic, appearing like the son of a giant. This Timothy was, no doubt, of 
ancient respectable descent, but nothing seems to have been known in the councry of his pedigree. 
Ho acquired considerable property, as a middle man, and was a magistrate of no ordinary capacity. 
He was a jovial companion, had a good head, and Avas a kind of sense-carrier to several of his aris- 
tocratic neighbours, who had no time for anything but drinking and hunting. His son, Alexander, 
succeeded to a considerable property in land and tythes. This Alexander may be considered as the 
last celebrated man of the O'Driscolls, in the O'Driscoll territory. He was a remarkably fine-look- 
ing man he looked, in fact, like a prince: hunted well; rode well; drank well ; his hospitality 
was boundless to all. Being, in polities, a high conservative, his popularity lay with the aristocracy, 
who repaid him for his hospitality by giving him all those posts of honor which gentry sigh for, 
and which cost nothing. He was of overbearing disposition; despised all popular institutions; 
was severe to the peasantry, and no favourite with the Roman Catholic clergy, although a Roman 


Catholic himself. His end was most melancholy. In the Summer Assizes of 1849, he served on 
the County Grand Jury, although his embarrassments were notorious; and, instead of proceeding 
homewards, after the duties of a grand juror wore over, he remained in the city of Cork, and was 
arrested by a wine merchant. lie applied for his discharge on the score of being on duty as a 
grand juror; but the application was refused, and he was confined in the city gaol. The cholera 
then prevailing very severely, he was seized with it and died." 

Another very remarkable man of the old Irish race, whose sons, Nicholas, Michael, and 
"William, I remember, "was Mr.AVilliam Gaffrey, alias O'Gamhna, of Glcnmore, in the barony of Ida, 
County Kilkenny. lie stood six feet four inches in height, and Avas robust, strong, and athletic in 
proportion. lie was so dexterous a swimmer that it was believed he could "walk on the water" 
from New Ross to AVaterford. lie commanded a party of eighty thousand rebels, in 1798, at 
Ballyverneen Hill, when Major-General Jackson defended the town of New Eoss. Mr. Gaffney 
was executed, and his body thrown into a pit with several other bodies. But the nurse-tender and 
mid-wife of the district, commonly called "Mary of the Ring," avIio was much attached to him and 
his family, came at night, alone, by the light of the moon, and opening the pit, threw up all the 
hodies on the hank, and examining them one by one. recognised that of Mr. Gaffney by its vast 
proportions and noble features. She returned the other carcasses, which were covei'ed with fresh 
lime, to the pit, and carried the body of Air. Gaffney to the church-yard of Kilbride, where she 
buried it in the tomb of his ancestors ; exhibiting a specimen of female heroism which Plutarch 
would have handed down to immortality. 


f Continued from page IG7.J 
Thomas Smyth was, doubtless, identical with the Sheriff of Dublin of the same name in 1576, 
and Mayor in 1591. This surname is so common, being now equivalent to no name at all, that it 
is vague to suggest that he was nearly related to Thomas, natural son of Sir Thomas Smyth, or 
Smith, who, in 1572, formed a colony at " Smith's Castle," in the Ards (county of Down); and 
tin- present writer has already suggested {Journal, vol. ii. 219,] that this Dublin druggist Avas 
brother of the notorious John, called "Bottle-Smith," for bis attempt to assassinate Shane Dymas 
ly means of a bottle of poisoned drink. One of this family had his hand stricken off, probably in 


vengeance, by Piers Butler, tho " rash younger son" of the first Viscount Mountgarrett.* The 
curious grant we have mentioned as made in 1566, to the "pothecarye," was conceded upon his 
"humble sine," complaining how his drugs and wares were unsaleable because of the superior 
competition of the country " leeches and such lykc;" whence his evident jealousy of superstitious prac- 
tices, which trenched on the art of physic, and which he so strongly reprobates. (Since the period 
when old Chaucer penned his sarcastic sketch of " a Doctour of Physike," the science of " magike 
naturel," as ancillary to homeeopathology, bad gone much out of vogue. Our authority of 1.561, 
indeed, was different in another marked respect from the older poetic type, whose " studie was bu^ 
litel on the Bible;" whereas, on the contrary, the curious and remarkable document already laid 
before our readers, is written in a reverential and pious spirit. 

Proposing to treat the interesting topic of Tin: Inisn Bards archaeologically in our future pages, 
we will, for the present, confine our comments to some passages in Smyth's Information for Ireland 
which was, it should have been mentioned, drawn up for the information of the lords of the omoen's 
privy council, to whom it is addressed. If the author was 3Ir. Thomas Smith, lie was at that time 
about erecting a mint in Dublin. We are curious to ascertain his relationship to the adven- 
turous gentleman of the same name who effected the first Elizabethan settlement in this province, 
and who (as well as his father, Sir Thomas, one of her Majesty's secretaries) was created 
"colonel of the Ards and Clandeboy," and who was himself slain in 1573. The secretary is 
author of a treatise on Roman coinage. However, we imagine that it was the apothecary who 
wrote this notice of the bards, since it bears more marks of an obstetric than a martial hand. 
prom the primitive time of the Tuatlia Be Dana an, noted for their scientific knowledge, the 
healing art was greatly respected in Ireland. Derrick, in his photographic description of the 
feast of a chieftain of woodkernc, places the surgeon next in precedence to the priest, to whom a 
seat of honour, probably anciently occupied by his predecessor, the druidic priest of Baal, was 
assigned. The old Irish leeches, who probably derived their knowledge traditionally from the 
druids, had great faith in astronomic influence on the human frame; and some of the charms and 
spells still used by our peasantry, usually in verse, are manifestly relics of druidic paganism or 
demon -worship. 

As to the "Brehon," the first functionary noticed by Smyth, we may refer to our previous article 
on Trixlt Hrehona and their Laics; merely remarking, that for these men to take upon themselves 
to judge in matters and causes of inheritance," was a sore oifence in the eyes of the (.iovtrninent, 
whoso object was to induce the Irish to abandon their old and pernicious laws of gavel-kind and 
tanistry, which were fraught with social evils. 

The second personage noticed is that formerly important functionary, the Scanchaidhc, "pctigrer," 

, Curcw MS G3.>. 


or repository of pedigrees, a whole Heralds' College in himself nay, more, an embodied re- 
ference in questions of inheritance. However ridiculous the value anciently attached by clan- 
races to genealogy may appear to us now, we should bear in mind that, as every free-born clansman 
had a common right of inheritance, the preservation of his pedigree was a means of establishing his 
claim to the occupation of land, and, eventually, perhaps, to the rank and rents of senior of his 
particular sept. Prior, therefore, to the use of records, the sennachies of a tribe were the referees 
in all disputed cases as to lineage questions of primary importance among the Irish Gael, involving 
legitimacy of birth, and traditional superiority of rank according to seniority. 

The families holding the hereditary office of bards seem to have been wealthy in cattle, owing to 
their freedom from rent and taxes ; to the fees or donations they received ; and to their sacred char- 
acter, and consequent immunity from plunder an immunity religiously observed by even the royal 
English forces in earlier times. One of the charges on which Lord Leonard Gray was executed, 
was that "he had spoiled and depredated the rhymers by the mountayne's side, who served the 
king's army with victual ; by which spoil ensued not only reproach and infamy, but scarcity and 
dearth." They frequently, however, as Smyth complains, supported "rebels," or such of the natives 
as, being always at enmity with the Saxonry, were usually at war with them, and disobedient 
to the government. 

Smyth's remark, that the sennachies filled the ignorant popular leaders with a mad pride, by 
comparing them to classic heroes, is borne out by much concurrent testimony; among others, by 
the annalist Dowling, who says that Kory Oge O'More, the dispossessed and fierce chieftain 
of Leix, whose eighteen years of continuous commotion were closed by his being killed in 
1577, and who, having latterly burnt the towns of Xaas, Athy, Carlow, and Leighlin, was ex- 
tolled by the rhymers " like him that burnt Diana's temple." For ourselves, we must say this simile 
wears the semblance of an Irish bull, since we not only are unaware that Erostratus was ever ex- 
tolled, but do not see the resemblance between his act of mere villany, done to perpetuate his 
name, and the very intelligible vengeance of the dispossessed lord of Leix. A sennachie's most dire 
offence was that, by his " holding their pedigrees and genealogies, ever to prove their descents 
from the ancient barbarous kings that were before the English conquest, " b he kept up and 
cherished among the chieftains a bitter and galling memory of loss and injury, which, during 
five centuries, formed the political key-note to which the bard tuned his harp, and a sort of 
whet-stcne on which the Gael sharpened his pike. When the stirring rosg-catha of an Irish 
Timotheus inculcated incendiarism with all the power of music, the Celtic "Alexander" rose hot from 
the feast, drunk with song and usquebaugh, and inflamed with fierce passions, which he forthwith 
carried into execution, ilusie, saith the muse, hath charms to soothe the savage breast; but some 

b J. otter of Capt. Dawtrey, S.P.O. 


bards employed it to make the savage bosom more ferocious. So few of these fiery effusions have 
survived, that we are only able to take up one or two of their extinguished torches, such as the 
" Lament of O'Gnive," bard to the Clandeboy O'Xcills, in which he apostrophises Nial-naoi-giallach 
and Conn-cead-cathach, exclaiming : 

" Let the long grass still sigh undisturb'd o'er their sleep ; 
Arise not to shame us, awake not to weep !" 
and concludes : 

" Degraded and lost ones, no Hector is nigh, 
To lead you to freedom, or teach you to die !"* 

Some odes composed by bards who lived under the protection of Fiach 0' Byrne, "the wild hawk 
of Glenmalure," still remain in a small vellum MS. in the British Museum; and of these, the 
address to the clans of Wicklow, translated by Mr. Ferguson, is really fine ; commencing, in his 
version, thus : 

" God be with the Irish host, never be their battle lost ! 

For in battle never yet have they basely earn'd defeat. 

Host of armour, red and bright, may ye fight a valiant fight, 

For the green spot of the earth, for the land that gave you birth ! 

Who in Erin's cause would stand, brother of th' avenging band, 

He must wed immortal quarrel, pain and sweat, and bloody peril ; 

On the mountain bare and steep, snatching short but pleasant sleep ; 

Then, ere sunrise, from his eyrie, swooping on the Saxon quarry." 

The Gaelic term, Aes-dan, employed by Smyth to designate the several orders of poets, is pecu- 
liarly appropi'iate, having been in use by the Irish and Scotch, and signifying the people or men 
professing the art of dan, or poetry. M'Firbis styles Tuathal O'Higgin, who died in 14.50, " chief 
master of the Aes-ddna of Ireland." Dan, signifying in more modern times a panegyrical poem, 
seems originally to have included all arts, such as were taught by the Tuatha De Danaan, who 
seem to have been members of the druidic orders expelled from Britain by the Romans. 

Master Smyth's descriptive power rises when he pourtrays, in nervous style and indignant 
phrase, the terrible and destructive effects of a rosg-varha upon a likely sprig of clan nubility. 
The vivid sketch he has thus bequeathed us, of an episode in the life of a leader of wood- 
kerne, is filled up by Derrick's description of the northern variety of these wild depredators ; 
besides which, the hitter's antique full-lengths are illustrated by highly curious engravings. Take 
a single sketch from his "Image of Ireland" in 1578. Having versified a plundering expedition 

'This Bpivitcl versification is by J, J C.'tllanan A prose translation may lie fouu'l in Walker's Irish Bard.*, I. 201. 


made by a troop of insurgent foresters, and described their ensuing feast, the doggerel poet 
continues : 

"Xow when their gutts be full, then comes the pastime in ; 

The Barde and Harper mellodie unto them doe beginnc. 

This Barde, he doth reporte the noble conquestes done ; 

And eke in rimes shewes forthe at large their glorie thereby wonne. 

Thus he at random roameth ; he prickes the rebells on ; 

And shelves, by such extcrnall deeds, their honour lyes upon. 

And then the more to stir them up, to prosecute their ill ; 

What great renown their fathers gotte, he shews by rhyming skill ; 

And thei most gladsome are, to heare of parents' name, 

As how, by spoiling honest menne, thei wonne such endless fame. 

Wherefore, like graceless graftes, sprong from a wicked tree, 

Thei grow, through daily exercise, to all iniquitic. 

And more t' augment the flame, & rancour of their harte," &c. 
The "Piper," described by Smyth as preceding a troop of kernes setting out on a creach or foray, 
is admirably pourtrayed in an engraving in Derrick. In a government letter, dated 7th December, 
1572, it is mentioned that those spoilers of the Pale, the fierce Fiagh O'Byrne, Pory Oge O'Morc, 
&c, were accustomed to come by daylight with bag-pipes, and by night with torch-light, on their 
plundering incursions. 

The " Messenger," mentioned by our writer, performed so active and useful a part in old Gaelic 
social life, that his services seem but meagrely rewarded by the offal which all records agree was 
his share of a feast. Captain Richc, who was quartered at Coleraine, and printed his quaint 
Description of Ireland in 1610, observes that " every great man in the country hath his rymer, his 
harper, and his knowne messenger, to run about the country with letters." The Gaelic names fur 
one of these couriers were eaclacJi, and gilli-cosh. The latter word signifies "lad of the foot;" and 
we must here correct an error fallen into in our article on Gaelic Domestics, in translating the word 

The " Pakry," also mentioned, was the racraidhe, or singer to the cruit, or harp, who recited 
the poet's compositions, as also stated b}' Spenser. Lord Justice Fitzwilliam writes to ShAV. Cecil 
(Lord Burleigh), 1-1 fh April, 15G2, that "rhymers set forth the most bestlyest and owdyus parts 
of men's ansestors' doings, and their own lycke wysc for whom the rymes are made. Such," he 
adds, "be charessed and defendyd, even with their prysts; and rewarded with garments, till they 
leve themselves nackyd ; besyds the best pece of plate in the howse, and chefest horse away with 
them; not all together departyng empty handyd when they come among the Erics and other the 
uobylate of Inglysh race." Spenser mentions an instance of as many as forty cows (misprinted 


crowns) having been presented by a man of high degree in return for a eulogistic dan, or ode. 
As the value of these useful animals must have, comparatively, been nearly the same as now, the 
honorarium given to the well-paid bard was worth about 200 ! Yet, the English poet who records 
this liberality could hardly obtain half as much for himself from Lord Burleigh upon the Queen's 
order ! 

The paragraph in Smyth's account, stating that the Fileas added the prophecy-business to their 
other trades, is curious evidence of the professional descent of this order, (originally prophetic bards,) 
from the druidic times ; and it so completely carries down the chain, that we perceive the "prophecy- 
men," who still haunt our cabins, to be representatives of pseudo-inspired Druids ! The " second 
sight" of the Scottish Highlanders may, in like manner, be a relic of their supposed power of, fore- 
seeing and foretelling. One of the finest pieces of poetry in any language Gray's ode, The Bard 
is founded on the knowledge of the future assumed by the Gaelic bards. Gerald Barry, King John's 
secretary in this kingdom, and a firm believer in prophetic pretensions, constantly refers to the 
predictions of Merlin, and quotes those of native bardic saints, such as Columbkille, &c, both 
for explanations of past events in the conquest of Ireland, and for conclusions as to the future. 
Any curiosity our readers may entertain on this latter question we may as well gratify by stating, 
that, according to the unanimous agreement of all prophets, Ireland will not be fully conquered 
much "before doomsday!" The extraordinary belief reposed by the Celtic people of the British 
Islands in prophecies, is a matter of history. This superstitious feeling shows its earliest trace 
among the Canaanites, whose priests of Baal were false prophets, and among whom witchcraft was 
profession. In the old Irish poem entitled The Battle of Magh-rath, the druids of the Pictish king 
of Ulster are represented as '''making true magical predictions for him." Down to so late a period 
as the 17th century, the Irish chiefs were accustomed to encourage their troops, prior to an engage- 
ment, by assuring them that such or such a saint had foretold victory. Moryson mentions the accom- 
plishment of two prophecies, in the battle of Kinsale and the destruction of the three northern 
Hughs. The former one is circumstantially referred to in Pacata BTibernia; and Story, in his Jf'ars 
of Ireland, has a curious page giving "an account of some Irish prophecies." In times when tra- 
dition filled the place of the printing-press, nothing could bo easier than to invent prophecies 
suitable to coming and past events. 

The " Ollav Filea" was the poet, and an eminent man. The " Bard" was merely a versifier, <>r 
"rhymer." This inferior class were scoffed at by the Fileas as " prattling Bards." " It is not," 
wrote the author of the curious Boole of Rights, "the right of a Bard, but of a Filea. to know the 

c Cambrensis writes: "The Irish people arc said in? of the conquest of their land, tloo afTirmo that the 
to have foure men whom they account to bo groat same shall he assailed with often warres, the strifes 
prophets, ami whom they have in great veneration ami shall ho eontinuall, ami the slaughters great. But yet 
credit, .Merlin, Bracton, Patrike, and Columkill, whoso they do not assure nor warrant anie perfect or full con- 
hooks ami prophecies they have anion? themselves in quest unto the English nation not much before Dooms 
their own language; and all they, intreating ami speak- daie." 
voi,. iv. 2c 

208 . 

rights of each kin"-." In the title of " Fileadh" there was indeed much more implied than a mere 
poet or verse-maker. The learned author of Ogygia, after stating that Amergin was the first druid 
who entered Erin, adds : " Sub fratribus suis supremus rates fuit ;" and further explains, that " by 
this name was denoted not only a poet, but also such as were well versed in other sciences." Every 
one knows that the Latin rates signified a vaticinal, or prophetic poet. The annalist Firbis speaks 
of "poet-philosophers;" a class whom the author of Jludibras had, no doubt, in his mind's eye when 

he described his hero as 

" A deep occult philosopher, 
As learned as the wild Irish are." 
In the Book of the Gruithne (or Picts), contained in the Irish Nennius, the following vivid 
account of the pagan druicls occurs : 

" There remained behind them in Ealga [Ireland], 
AVith many artificers and warriors, 
Who settled in Breagh-magh, 

Six god-like Druids ; 
Divination, and idolatry, and mystical learning, 

In a fair and well-walled house, 
Plundering in ships, bright poems 

By them were taught ; 
The observance of sneezings and omens, 

Choice of weather, lucky times, 
The watching of the voices of birds [augury], 

They practised without disguise ; 
Hills and rocks they prepared for the plough. 
Among their sons were no thieves." 
To have become an adept in these several sciences must have demanded as clear an intellect as 
the study of an equal number of modem " ologics," inclusive even of Mesmerism and Spirit-rapping. 
The Booh of Rights mentions the lucky times for certain creachs or forays; and, no doubt, those fortu- 
nate seasons were religiously observed. In that ancient tale, The Banquet of Dun na JVgedh, the 
king of Ulidia's " sage and poet" is also styled a "seer and distinguished druid;" a character he 
may easily have gained by his supposed power of predicting conjunctions and eclipses of the heav- 
enly bodies. It was, of course, to obtain the tremendous power acquired by such predictions that 
the druidic orders studied astrology. The learned editor of the tale just mentioned has appended 
a curious note on the subject of the prophetic powers of the pagan poets. Magic, systematically 
employed by the druids, descended traditionally, and, perhaps, scripturally, to their successors, the 
Fileas, who also retained other heathen attributes of the more ancient order, in their pretension 


of possessing tlie gift of prophecy, and as ' ' maintainors of witches." No one, in our day, need 
marvel at the prevalence of superstition three centuries ago among the excitable and imaginative 
natives of the " Island of Destiny," since the limits between the unreal and real, the natural and 
supernatural, have never yet been clearly denned, as regards either time, spirit, or visibility ; and 
since the columns of the Times, this very year, prove the existence of grossly superstitious practices 
in England. With regard to " witches/' Captain Bamabe Riche has the following passage in his 
Description of Ireland, 4to, 1610, in the chapter on " Superstitions :" " The Irish are wonderfully 
addicted to give credit and beliefe, not onely to the fabulous fictions of their lying Poets, but also 
to the prognostications of Soothsayers and Witches ; like our husbandmen of the countrey, that doe 
draw all their knowledge from the counsell of a Kalendar. And if any of their wise men, or wise 
women (as they call them) do prognosticate either good or evill fortune, they doe more relie on 
their presagements than they do on the foure Evangelists." Stanihurst writes that, in his time, 
there were "manie sorcerers" among the mere Irish ; and he himself became, on his departure for 
the Continent, an alchymist, a searcher for the philosopher's stone, and a physician. The council- 
book of Henry VIII. (Addit. MS. Brit. Mas., 4790^ contains a note of "a letter to Charles fitz Arthur 
for sending a witchc to the lord deputie to be examined," anno 1542. This Charles was Cahir mac Art, 
chief of the Kavanaghs, created Baron of Ballyan by Queen Mary. Cox relates that Sir Wm. Drury, in 
October 1578, caused certain criminals to be executed at Kilkenny, among whom were "two witches, 
who were condemned by the law of nature, for there was no posit ire law against witchcraft in those 
days." To remedy such an oversight, the act of 1585, "against witchcraft and sorcery," was 
passed by the legislature. There is a note in Dr. Hanmer's collection (the first volume of Irish 
MSS. in the State Paper Office), at page 739, of " Tyrone his witch, the which lie hanged." 
Another note (at page 700, in the portion entitled "Mores Gentium,") specifies, among certain 
" Avicked customs and observances," that the Irish " upon Haie Eve drive their cat tell, &c, upon 
their next neighbour's corne, to eate the same. They were wont to begin from the East. Onless 
they do so upon Maie daic the witch hath power upon their catell all the year following." Allu- 
sion is made to this superstition by Higdcn in his Pohjchronicon, printed in 1527, in his chapter 
"Of the manners of the inhabitants of Ireland," an " Ilond" in which he declares there "be many 
grysly wonelres and marvaylles ;" adding that "in this loud, and in Wales, olde wyves and wym- 
men were wonte, and ben, as men sayen, oftc for to shape themself'es in lykenesse of hares for to 
mylkc th eyre neighbour's kyen or stele her mylke." It is stated in the curious account of the Irish 
people in Camden' s History, that "the cast-off wives" of the chiefs resorted to witches, who were be- 
lieved by those ladies to he able to afflict their cruel husbands with personal calamities. A simi- 
lar (supposed) power was possessed by the Fileas. 'See note, Statute of Kilkenny, Arch. Tracts, 
p. 55.] Reginald Scot, in his Discureric of Witchcraft, says, " the Irishmen will not sticke to 
affirm that thov ran rime either man or bea<l to death." The Filea was believed to be able to 


perform " poetical miracles" by the force of satire, so far even as to cause the death of his victim. 
It is unfortunate that the superstitions of the Gael in the " Isle of Saints" receive but brief 
notice from the great author of the Dialogue between Eudoxus and Irenceus, and that he failed to 
perform his tantalizing promise of writing on the antiquities of old Erin. 

"The Land of Sainctes," which Smyth refers to was, probably, that fabulous " iland beyond 
Irlande," commonly known as " I-Brazil, the Isle of the Blest," some account of which was given 
in our former article, " Notes on old Irish Maps." 

" O'Maylly, strong in galleys and scasmen," as Sir Henry Sidney wrote, was chieftain over the 
western islands, which formed at that period, as we may believe, the ultima Thule of barbarism. 
Giraldus Cambrensis states that there were, in his time, districts in the west and somh where people 
were to be found who had never been baptised ; and that certain islanders had been discovered on 
the western coast clad in skins, or peltry, (the first clothing of savages,) and who had never heard 
the name of Christ. 

Of those " idle losels, the brotherhood of Carrowes, that professe to play cards all the year long, 
and make it their only occupation," Campion and Spenser give strange accounts. 

Wc have not met elsewhere with the name Gogathe, as applied to the Irish glutton ; the ordinary 
name for this professional exhibitor of a special talent having been Ciocrach, derived from the ad- 
jective, signifying greedy, or ravenous. 

The "Abraham," or "Sham-Abraham," was an English vagrant, whose peculiar ways are 
described by Captain Grose, and who seems to have been a mendicant of the gipsy caste, an aged 
man, with a hoary patriarchal beard, and sufficiently nude to have formed a good study for painters. 
The bishop of Cork writes, in 1596, to Lord Hunsdon concerning the enormities and abuses at 
that time existing in Ireland, desiring among other points to be considered, that " some strict order 
be taken for idle persons, as carvaghes, hazards, rimers, bards, and harpers, which run about the 
country, eating the labours of the poor, carrying news and intelligences to the rebels, and bruiting 
false tales. Also the rithmcrs make songs in commendation and prayse of the treasons, rebellions, 
spoilings, preyings, and thicvings made. They flock," he says, " to the cuddies, or night-suppers;" 
for it was during these nocturnal feasts that they poured forth their effusions. 

One of the personal characteristics of the rather indefinite sort of person called a hazard is ex- 
plained in another State Paper of 1575, which abuses "stout beggars, idle vagabonds, naked 
hazards, shameless flattering slaves, as bards, owlers, &c, nourished by the lords." 

Spenser mentiones the " wandering women, called Mona-Shull." The name means " travelling 
women," [mna siubhail.~] These vagrant unfortunates, fully described in Derrick's Image of Ire- 
la id, seem to have abounded in Queen Elizabeth's time, as the Dublin council-book of that period 
has a proclamation " against Women and Doggs;" this latter denomination manifestly designating 
the greyhounds that ran at the heels of the native idel-men, or men of edel or noble birth, in 


times when an Irish " gentleman-sportsman" was known by these four-footed attendants. The 
word " Mannigscoule," used by Smyth, is, manifestly, a corruption of Mona-shula, who would seem 
to have been also ballad singers. Why their chief should have but one eye, and be called " Lucas," 
are archaic mysteries which some of our readers may be able to throw light on. These wandering 
or " going" women may have been the " caifs" described in the reign of Henry IV., as dispersed, 
with nurses, and children, throughout the Irisb countries, "spying, by day and night, all the roads 
and fortresses, whence the greatest possible mischief might hereafter arise. " d Acskula seems to 
have been the name of ballad-singers, called "ishallyn" in records. But we beg to repeat a hope 
that our columns of " Notes and Queries" may become a vehicle for elucidating the topic of archaic 
caifs, and Gaelic glee-maidens, with their one-eyed leader. 

"With regard to the Bachul Jesu mentioned in the foregoing account, the name seems, according 
to Campion and a note of Dr. O'Donovan to his excellent edition of the Four Masters, to have been 
a name for St. Patrick's staff. A full account of the Baculus Jesu, or Staff of Jesus, is given in the 
introduction to The Obits of Christ Church, published by the Irish Archaeological Society. This 
highly-venerated relic was burnt at the period of the ltcformation. Counterfeits, or copies, may, 
however, have been fabricated, to be used in the manner mentioned by our apothecary. It is 
probable that the order of medical vagrants called Bacagh, who still stroll about, performing cures, 
and carrying a professional baculus, or staff, derive their appellation from having anciently carried 
such Bachuls as Smyth mentions. 

The fostering of children noticed by Smyth Avas objectionable to the English on account of 
its constant result, viz., that the child imbibed strong Irish affections. On the subject of the ex- 
traordinary love between foster-brethren, and on the primary object of putting children out to be 
fostered, see notes by the Hon. A. Herbert to Nennius. 

On the whole, this original "State Paper" Smyth's Information for Ireland bids fair to rank as 
on j of the most curious pictures of those remarkable people, the bardic castes of Ireland. Indeed, 
we know no pendant to it, save Spenser's, and no parallel monograph by a native bard ; and we 
believe, after having verified its details by testimonies of contemporary witnesses, thai it docs not 
err much on the side of caricature. The Irish correspondence in the State Paper Office certainly 
contains the fullest materials, and perhaps, the most trustworthy, for elucidating the singular social 
history of the Irish Gael. Flatter)' was the technical sin la spceialitc of their poets, whose state- 
ments require, therefore, to be corrected by reference to less friendly sources, such as will satisfy 
modern archaeologists, who, unlike a Filea, do not calculate on gaining cows, or goblets, by adula- 
ting chieftains, but look simply to the truth as it then was, though assuredly with regret, when- 
ever its revelations are little favourable to mankind of old, and the state of civilization at that 
period. As we propose entering fully, in future papers, on the History of the Irish Bards, we 

d ShirK'v's Farley, p. -'I 


shall then have an opportunity of examining the information to be elicited from our mediaeval 
minstrelsy, and of bringing its illustrations to bear on history. Little progress, unfortunately, 
has been made in collecting and publishing the remains of the many oral poetic appeals, which 
once roused so powerfully the passions of our ancient countrymen. On this subject, the editor 
of TJie Ballad Poetry of Ireland makes a just remark, which we will now repeat and extend. 
"When all our stores are gathered and arranged when we can read every Ossianic tale and poem 
understand the native ideas as expressed in verse and prose, from the Danish times to the Jacobite 
stru-"-lcs, and compare them with the later ballads sung in the farm-houses of the colonist yeo- 
manry then " shall we have insights into the heart of history which a tower-full of State Papers 
would not afford." At the same time, be it remembered, these State Papers afford assistance of 
inestimable value to the scrutinizing historian. The great pulsations of the Irish heart, the electric 
shocks of insurrection that frequently agitated the stormy atmosphere, and those tempests of human 
violence that often terminated in deluges of blood, are all recorded in the English registry of State, 
and that, too, by the hands of men whose wounds were rankling, and whose hearts were aching, 
while they wrote. Heebeet F. Hoee. 


Several queries and remarks having appeared in this Journal * respecting this once general but 
now, it is to be hoped, totally obsolete practice, I have been induced to put together the following 
notes, which may serve to throw some light on the subject. 

In 1613, when a number of Irish noblemen, knights, and gentlemen, " shewed themselves before 
the king" with their grievances, the tenth grievance under the heading of Divers Disorders in the 
Kingdom of Ireland, committed by llartiall Men was as follows : 

" In the Northern Counties, the sheriffs, governors, marshals, & others do take, for permitting 
the inhabitants to use their short ploughs, after the rate of 10s. b3 T thc year for every plough, which 
is now come to be an exact revenue of extraordinary great value to these officers, to the great grief 
& impoverishment of the people, who have neither the skill nor hieans to use other ploughs ; & until 
in those places the people were of more ability, this might be forborne, there being no law against 
that kind of ploughing. 1 

Besides being grievances, which were submitted to the king on this occasion, (and, indeed, several 
of them deserve the name,) the student of Irish history knows that they were also charges of mis- 
government against Arthur, Lord Chichester, then Lord Deputy, amounting to something more 

* Vol iii-, 254; vol. iv., 171, 275: vol v., 104, 257, 348; vol, vi., 134, 135. 
dJriidtrutd Curiosn llibcrnica. 


than a mere expression of want of confidence in him as Yice-roy of Ireland. So Chichester, in his 
refutation, when replying to the above-quoted particular grievance, writes thus to the King : 

" There is nothing taken by these officers for permitting the people to use the short ploughs, as 
is alleged ; but the truth is that, upon consideration had of the barbarous custom of drawing with 
their beasts by the rumps, whereby many hundreds arc killed & maimed yearly, a proclamation 
was published about 7 years since, prohibiting that custom, which was a garran out of every 
plough so drawn, & if they drew their short ploughs with traces of ropes or withes, nothing was to 
be demanded. But this penalty was never levied according to the proclamation ; but seeing the 
people had no care to alter that uncivil & disprofitable custom, thereunto animated, as it seems, by 
the justification of the complainants to keep them still barbarous, I gave orders to the sheriffs & 
other officers, about two years since, to take ten shillings out of every plough so drawn. " b 

Seven years later, in the spring of 1620, the Irish people appointed "Agents," as they were 
termed, to wait on the King, and acquaint him with their most pressing grievances. These agents 
were three in number namely, the Lord of Devlin, Sir Christopher Plunkctt, and Mr. Dongan, the 
Recorder of Dublin. The grievances were five, and merit enumeration. The first was the licensing 
system being applied to ale-houses ; the second was the registry of marriages, christenings, and 
burials ; c the third was a license being required for the manufacture and sale of aqua-vita; ; the 
fourth was the imposition of a fine for ploughing by the horse's tail ; and the fifth was the registry 
of horses, a measure introduced to abate the then very prevalent crime of horse-stealing. These 
five judicious measures, evidently passed for the benefit of the country, being innovations, were 
most distasteful to the Irish people. Moreover, the fees and penalties severally connected with 
each, were farmed out, by letters patent, to hungry court favourites, who regarding the acquisi- 
tion of money more than the carrying out of the law by compounding with some and overcharging 
others, managed to squeeze large annual incomes out of the impoverished Irish; while the measures 
themselves, as respects their restringent and useful purposes, remained mere dead letters on the 
records of the Council Chamber. 

The King, in a letter of instructions to Sir Oliver St. John, then Lord Deputy, (dated June, 
1620,) states that he had heard the " Agents" with his " accustomed patience," and then, proceed- 
ing to deal with the grievances seriatim, he says : 

"The barbarous custome commonly used in the Xorthernc parts was the cause of the grant of 
the pcnaltic for plowing with horses by the tailes, and our chiefest end thereby was the refonna- 
cion of that abuse, which we were then assured would with few ycares be brought to passe, & we 
did presently see a good effect thereof in sonic parts of that country. But now. being informed by 

1 Ibid. democratic name of Captain Coblcr, was. that orders 

' In the Yorkshire rebellion of 1530, one of the pro- hud been given for the registering of marriages, chrieten- 

clsiinied grievances of the 4 | >,(XX) insurgents, headed l>j ings, and burials. 

Mukarel, Abbott of liurlings, who assumed the nn>rc 


the Agents that such as are employed under our Patentee, more respecting their owne proffit than 
our intention, have by way of contract drawne downe the 10 8 on every plough to 2 s & 6 d , & soe by 
lessening the punnishmcnt, opened a way for that rude & hatefull custome to spread it selfe : This 
we would have you to examine, & if it shall appear unto you that any such course hath been held, 
soe far differing from our Royal purpose, we shall upon notice thereof, call in the said graunt, & 
take some sharper course for the most speedy reduceing of the offenders into better forme." d 

In March, 1621, the King appointed a number of Commissioners to enquire and report on the 
state of Ireland. One branch of their inquiries was directed to " the general grievances suffered by 
patents, granted under tlie Grown or othet ivise ;" and under this head, in the following June, they 
report as follows : 

"The grant of the pcnaltie of 10 s , to be imposed upon every man that should plough with his 
Horses by the Tayles, was to reforme a barbarous Custome, too frequently used in that kingdome, 
& your Ma tie ' s chiefest end thereby was to take away that abuse. The Agents complained of that 
as a grievance, but the reasons for it" [for it being a grievance] " we do not finde, more than that 
the assignees of the Patentee (as they alledged) had contracted with the offenders for a lesser 
Summe. And so the ill Custome was thereby rather continued than taken away. To this your 
Ma tie . was pleased to answere, that if the allegacion could be proved before your Deputie & Coun- 
cell, you would call in the Patent, & reforme that lewd Custome by some sharper course. This, for 
ought we knowe, the Agents could not prove, & soe the Grant remaines as formerly it did. "Which 
we cannot present as a general Grievance, being an Imposition laid onely upon some particular men 
for the Reformacion of an Abuse. At which, if your people doe repine, it is rather because the 
renaltie doth goe to a private hand, than for any other cause. Your Ma tie . may therefore be 
pleased, by giving some reasonable consideracion to the Patentee for his Interest, to convert the 
profits ariseing out of that Grant to your own use, soe long as that barbarous Custome shall con- 
tinue. Which, being collected by your own Officers, & for the encrease of your Revenue, will be 
less offensive to the people than now it is." e 

The English Council Chamber appended the following postill or note to the preceding report : 

" The Patentee for this Imposition is to be compounded with for his Grant, & the King to take 
the profit of it into his own hands, who (by suing the Penalties) may either reforme that Barbarous 
Custome in few years, or much encrease his Revenue thereby." 

It appears, however, that the patentee was not compounded with in the exact manner proposed. 
He paid 100 per year for Ids grant, and the first year he held it (1612), it produced a gross sum 
of 870. In all probability then he would be wealthy, and, according to the corrupt custom of 
the period, might hold his patent as long as he chose to pay well for it. And that an arrangement 

d Add. MSS. Brit. Mus. 4756. c Ibid. 


of this kind was made, there can be little doubt; for the Irish Commissioners, in a subsequent re- 
port to the King, write as follows : 

" The barbarous use of Ploughing with Garrons tyed by the Tailes was restrained by (lie Councell 
here. Afterwards the same was permitted, & a Mulct imposed of 10 s for every short Plough, which 
forfeiture in Anno 1612 was granted to Sir William Udalc, whose Patent is' still in force. And 
where it was directed that the Patentee should be compounded with, & the same taken in to your 
ownc hands, we find noething done in that kinde; but, by a Letter from the Lords of the Councell 
in England, yo r . Ma tiu . requires the Deputie to give warrant to the Patentee to levy the Penalties 
as before : by which means this barbarous Custome of ploughing with Horses tyed by the Tailes is 
still continued in many places, for restraint whereof we find noe Law or Statute here' in force. 

"And the Countrie hath renewed their Complaints that this annual execution of 1 0" for every short 
Plough hath, in many places, hurt and impoverished the Country ; & by colour thereof, of some have 
been taken & extorted Money for their Harrowes (as wc are informed) ; & of some of less abillitie, 
composition made at less rates than the penaltie of 10" appointed (as was directly proved). So that 
the use of this Patent lends more to a private Gaine than to a Reformation : In regard whereof, & 
the due Consideration of the now scarcity of Come, & the Poverty of this People, we conceive il fitt, 
that short Ploughs be tolleratcd till the first of Aprill & no longer; that in the meanctime Men may 
furnish themselves with such Ploughs as are in use in England, or learn to use their short Ploughs, 
setting their Garrons three or four Horses affront, which is free from unseemliness, & fitter for some 
mountaines & hoggish grounds than the long Plough, as is now begun & practized in the Barony 
of Clankie, in the Countie of Cavan, which we rather advise; because wc have received credible 
Information that the Earle of Antrim, in the Countie of Antrim, where he hath diverse Baronies, 
hath bannished that barbarous Custome, by holding all his Tennants to the fashion of English 
plowing, & Sir George Hamilton hath already reformed his Tenants, & so others. And your 
Ma tie ' s ayme appeareing by all the Acts to tend to Reformation of the Abuse, & to remove the bar- 
barous Practise, Wee offer to your Ma ,it;,s . consideration, whether it were not fitt, that your Royal 
pleasure shall by a Proclamation be published, inhibiting all yourSubiects here, after the mist day 
of Aprill next, from ploughing with Garrons or Bullocks tied by the Tayles, upon paine of your 
high displeasure, & such as shall offend, to be bound to their good behaviours till they reformc."' 

In January 1623, Lord Deputy Falkland petitioned the English Privy Council to permit Udale, 
the patentee, to continue to collect fines for ploughing by the tail, and on the 8th March of the same 
year, he acknowledges the receipt of letters permitting fines to be continued. * 

On the 4th May, 1628, Falkland, writing from Dublin to Viscount Conway, says: "We abound 
in wants and calamities of all sorts. Xoc fortifications in stale of defence : noe armes, noe muni- 
tions, noe armye; an infinite mortalitie of cattle, dearth of corne presently sustayned, famine 
and pestilence threatened to ensue." And further tells us that he had issued a proclamation com- 
manding every one to fast one whole day in every week for two months!' 1 At this juncture, the 
Irish people again sent over Lord Killcen, Lord Pocr, and others, as agents to petition relief from 
several oppressive laws. Charles received them graciously, ordered their expenses to be paid by 
the nation, and granted or relaxed tin 1 whole fifty-one articles of complaint of the Irish people, which 

1 [bid. Irish liners. Seitc Paper Office ' \h\.\. 

VOL. IV. -I' 


then and since have been technically termed "the fifty-one Graces." One of those articles of complaint 
was the fine for ploughing by the tail, and Charles in his private letters to 'the Lord Deputy thus 
alludes to it : "For reforming of the barbarous abuse of the short ploughs, wee are pleased that 
the penalty now imposed thereon shall be presently taken away ; and that hereafter an Act of 
Parliament shall pass for the restrayning of the said abuse upon such penalty as shall be thought 

In 1634 an act was passed by the Irish parliament prohibiting ploughing by the tail, and another 
custom of pulling the wool off live sheep, instead of shearing them ; and subsequently, in the same 
session, another act was passed prohibiting the use of the " fiery flail," as it was termed, or in other 
words, burning the straw instead of threshing out the corn. The preamble to the first mentioned 
act recites as follows : " Whereas in many places of this Kingdom, there hath been a long time 
used a barbarous custom of Plowing, Harrowing, Drawing, and "Working with Horses, Marcs, 
Geldings, Garrans, and Colts, by the Taile, wherebye (besides the cruelty used to the Beasts) the 
Breed of Horses is much impaired in this Kingdom, to the prejudice thereof, &c." j 

Acts of Parliament, however, merely relating to industrial and social progress, have but little 
effect among people utterly destitute of the simplest elements of material or intellectual civilisation. 
In 1777, Young found the three barbarous and unprofitable practices plucking the wool, ploughing 
by the tail, and burning the straw the common practice in the county of Mayo. In Cavan, 
Young says : " They very commonly plough and harrow with their horses drawing by the tail; it 
is done every season. Xothing can put them beside this, and they insist that, take a horse tired in 
traces, and put him to work by the tail, he will draw better; quite fresh again. Indignant reader, 
this is no jest of mine, but cruel, stubborn, barbarous truth ! It is so all over Cavan. " k 

The practice was common as late as the earlier part of the present century. Wakefield, who 
travelled in Ireland in 1809, says : " In Roscommon I heard of horses being yoked to the plough 
by the tail, but I had not an opportunity of seeing this curious practice. I was, however, assured 
by Dean French, that it is still common with two-year-old colts in the spring. And the Bev. Mr. 
Elliot, a clergyman of the Established Church in Ireland, who has a living at Pettigo, in the county 
of Fermanagh, said he had seen it in his parish in the spring of 1808." 1 

From the above, and numerous other notices of ploughing and harrowing by the tail, in Scotland 
as well as in Ireland, there can be no doubt that the practice existed in both countries from time 
immemorial down to, comparatively speaking, a very late period. Indeed, for myself, I have, when 
young, heard three persons at least, all of unimpeachable veracity, speak of having witnessed the 
barbarous practice.* 

rw/'^'- * ^he P ra tice of drawing by the horse's tail still ex- 

LolhcJwn of A cits and Statutes at larae. Dublin : 1G84. ists in some parts of Ireland, or did about a doz3n years 

-1 1 "iir in Inland. London: 1780. ago, when Otway published his tours in Connaught- In 

<-' Ao'ount of Ireland. London: 1812. his Sketches in Erris and Tymdey, (184o,) he gives the 


With respect to the furrows on the tops of hills, noticed by Mr. O'Keefe, in this Journal, [vol. 
v. p. 164,] I cannot for a moment suppose they had been caused by a plough; and I also must 
dissent from Mr. O'Keefe's assertion that the Irish race of horses was a fine one, although there may 
be many passages in Irish literature and the Brehon laws, descriptive of a good horse. The good- 
ness of horses, like that of every thing else, is merely comparative. What might have been con- 
sidered a very fine horse in Ireland, might have been esteemed a very inferior one in England. The 
English, in Elizabeth's time, did not condescend to give the name of horse to the Irish and Scottish 
specimens of the equine race, but contemptuously termed the former "hobbies," and the latter 
"prickers." And speaking of Scottish horses reminds me that, according to a passage in the works 
of iEncas Sylvius Papal Nuncio to the courts of James I. and II. of Scotland, and subsequently 
Pope himself, under the title of Pius II. the Scotch, in the earlier part of the fifteenth century, 
had not acquired the art of riding, and, having no wheeled vehicles, merely used their horse-, to 
carry small loads upon their backs. The English, from their contiguity to the Continent, had 
ampler means of improving their horses, by crossing with foreign breeds; and the necessity of 
having strong animals to carry men clothed in the heavy armour of the mediaeval period, caused 
the English not only to increase and improve, but also to keep their horses to themselves as much 
as possible. As early as the reign of Athelstan, horses were forbidden to be exported to foreign 
countries. The statute-book is full of laws for improving the breed, and restraining the exportation 
of English horses. In the time of Henry VIII. an act was passed forbidding any man. whose posi- 
tion in society allowed his wife to wear a velvet bonnet, from riding a horse under fifteen hands in 
height. By another act, all "unlikely tits" (unpromising foals) were to be killed. And even as 
late as the reign of Elizabeth, a law was passed making it felony, without benefit of clergy, to take 
an English horse into Scotland, for the purpose of selling it. So it is highly probable that the steed 

following letter from a resident in Erris, who had for do you give them a long scope of cable when it blows 

manv successive years witnessed the practice : hard?' ' Because,' said I, 'the hold t lie anchor has of 

"In justice to those who continue the practice of har- the ground is in an increased rati" to (he sine of the 

retiring by the /nil, I beg to observe that, as far as cruelty arc the cable makes with the ground ' I know nothing 

is concerned, 1 really can see no objection to it ; for, if about your suies,' replied the old gentleman, laughing. 

you gave the animals any pain, I do not think they would ' though I believe I understand what you mean Now, if 

submit to it so quietly as they do: indeed there are peo- you give a long scope of cable to increase the resistance, 

pie who assert it to be the most humane way of doing the docs it not stand to reason that a short scope must 

work! In proof of which I need only relate the follow- a contrary effect V And therefore, must not harrowing 

ing anecdote. I was on my way to dine with a worthy by the tail be easier to the animal, inasmuch as the har 

old gentleman, who resided here on my first arrival row- rope is shortened by the whole length of the horse? ' 

(now seventeen years ago), when I first observed the My host chuckled witli delight, and seemed to consider 

practice, and, as was natural for a foreigner, could not this argument a 'floorer:' and my 'Hut. my dear Sir, 

mid words sufficiently strong to express my feelings at there is a vast difference between securing a cable to the 

the cruelty of the thing. 'I beg your pardon,' said my "bits," and making it last to the '* rutlil>r-]>iiitl<:i,''' neither 

host, ' you are quite mistaken, for I assert, and I fee] I diminished his u'lee, nor induced him to change his opin- 

" ill force you to agree with me in opinion, that it is the ion. He continued the practice to the day of his death : 

most humane way of working the beast ; for this reason, and up to last year (lro'.O it tm.i. and in xt year, 1 feel 

that he harrows with less exertion-' 'Impossible!' re- assured, it *//// 'h followed. It is hard to break a custom 

plied I. 'I will prove it to a sailor witli ease,' answered attended with no expense " [eiit ] 

the gentleman: -' pray, when you atu'hor your ships, why 


which M'Murrough rodo, {Journal, vol. v. 164,] was an English horse, smuggled out of England, 
or sold to him by some of the pale's-men"; and its high price (400 cows), instead of shewing the 
goodness of Irish horses, proves, on the contrary, the extreme rarity of good horses in Ireland. 
Again, Mr. O'Kceffe also errs when he values an Irish cow in M c Murrough's time at three pounds. 
I have before me an account of the seizure, appraisement, and sale, by the sheriff of Fermanagh, at 
Enniskillen, in 1622, of sixteen Irish cows, which fetched only nine pounds : at the same time, 
however, English cows, that is of the breed introduced by the "planters" of Ulster, sold for 
three pounds each. This very high price, for the period, was caused merely by the rarity of the 
breed ; for in 1642, when the English breed had increased and multiplied, I find in the treaty made 
between the Marquis of Ormond and the Commissioners authorised by the Council of Kilkenny, 
that a sum of 7000 was to be paid to Charles I. in good beeves, at the value of 30 per score. By 
good beeves none other could be meant than the English breed, and even then they were worth 
only thirty shillings each. Indeed, I question if the Irish, or "Kerry" cow, as it is now termed 
(for, having lost its general appellation, it has acquired a local one,) was ever at any period woi'th 
three pounds, except as a curiosity. 

Another correspondent, under the name of Geobge \ Journal, vol. iv. 98] asks if the Irish at an 
early period shod their horses? I reply that they did not; for people without either roads or wheeled 
carriages have no necessity for horse-shoes. On the pampas and prairies of the new world, and on 
the steppes of Central Asia, horse-shoes arc unknown, simply because not required. The ancient 
Greeks did not shoe their horses. Homer, indeed, describes the horses of the car of Neptune as being 
"brazen-footed;" but that is merely a poetical epithet, like "brazen-lunged," or "brazen-faced." 
Xcnophon, in his treatise on the management of the horse, says nothing about a shoe, though he 
gives minute directions for taking care of the horse's foot, and for preserving and hardening the 
natural hoof. The Eomans, however, used shoes, or rather a kind of leather socks, faced with iron, 
which were fastened round the legs of the horse with cords made of a species of spartum or broom, 
supposed to be the stipa tenacissima of modern botanists. These shoes were used only in rough 
places, and could be taken off or put on by any person in a very short time, and with very little 
trouble, as we learn from a curious passage in Suetonius' life of Vespasian. 111 At what period the 
modern shoe, that is nailed to the hoof, came into use is unknown ; the earliest specimen of it is one 
found in the coffin of Childeric of France, who died in 481. n The Normans introduced the horse- 
shoe to England. The Scotch first began to shoe their horses about 1480. 

According to the records of the Guild of Hammermen of Edinburgh, the essay, or trial of skill, 
which every candidate for the honours of membership had to perform, was, in 1584, to make "ane 

m MulioTipm in itinoro quodam suspicatus acalciandas prreberet : interrogavit quanti calciasset : pactusque est, 
mulas '.lesiliisse, ut adeunti litigatori spatium moramquc lucri partem. 

11 Montfaucon. Monument de la Monarchic Francoisc, 


horse shoe & sax nailes thereto." From this we may reasonably draw two inferences. First, that 
horse-shoes were but seldom made in Scotland at that time ; and secondly, that the Scotch horse 
was then much smaller than it is now, when eight nails are required to fasten the shoe. The prac- 
tice of shoeing horses did not come into general use in Scotland till the last century. 

I had thought my task was over, but the welcome arrival of the last number of this Journal 
induces me to say a few words more. I see that Dr. 0' Donovan holds it impossible that even six 
horses could draw a plough, if yoked by their tails. I can see no difficulty in the matter ; and I 
believe that the Irish generally used but one or, at most, two horses for ploughing with, and fas- 
tened by their tails alone. The question is not, as Dr. 0' Donovan says, " what ploughing by the 
tail means;" this, I think, has been sufficiently shown in the present paper; but the question is, 
how was it managed? and to that I can only give a speculative answer, but one however, probably 
not far from the truth. 

It will be observed that the penalty, though inflicted on ploughing by the tail, was imposed on 
the short or Irish plough, thereby implying that that mode of ploughing could not be effected by 
the long or English plough. Still, as we see from the Lord Deputy's letter, "if the}- drew their 
short ploughs with traces of ropes or withes, no penalty was demanded." What, then, was the 
short plough, like ? "VVho knows ? I do not. But as there is a strong general resemblance among 
the agricultural implements of all primitive races, if we can find a plough used from the earliest 
antiquity down to the present day, by various peoples in different and widely separated parts of the 
world a plough, too, that could be drawn without any other gear or harness than merely being 
fastened to the horse's tail, we may conclude that we have fallen on an implement differing little 
from the " short plough" of the Irish. jSow such a plough, used by the ancient Egyptians some 
3000 years ago, is depicted on the tombs of Beni Hassan and the catacombs of Thebes ; and an 
exactly similar plough, used by the Romano-Britons, is represented by a bronze found at Piereeficld, 
in "Yorkshire, and now in the collection of Lord Londesborough. 

The most familiar description I can verbally give of this ancient and general type of plough, is 
simply this. Let the reader imagine a large pick axe, with one arm of the pick (to which the share 
is attached) stuck in the ground; while the other or upper arm of the pick, bent slightly back, 
forms the handle of the plough. The handle of the pick elongated forms a draught-polo, which, 
passing between two oxen, was fastened \o the voice, and thus no traces or harness whatever were 

Eut besides the bronze statuette ahove alluded to, we have Virgil's description, in his first 
Georgic, of the Roman plough : 

" (,'ontinuo in silvis magna vi hVxa domatur 
In 1 mt im , d cui'vi formani accipit ulniu< ar 

/''. ,s ,' r ',-.., ,, '->,-. ;,,/. X,,]. I. 


Hide a stirpo pedes temo protcntus in octo, 
P>ina3 aures, duplici aptantur dentalia dorso. 
Cajditur et tilia ante jugo levis, altaquo fagus, 
Stivaquc, quae currus a tergo torqueat imos ; 
Et suspensa focis explorat robora funins." 

Which may be briefly translated thus : An elm tree, bent with great force, is formed into a 
bun's (the lower arm of the imaginary pick- axe), and receives the shape of the crooked plough; to 
it are fitted the temo (draught-pole, or handle of pick-axe), stretched out eight feet, the two aures 
and the dentalia (share and mould-boards), with the double back and the stiva (handle of the plough, 
or upper arm of the pick), which bends the lower part of the plough behind. There can be no 
doubt about the respective positions of those parts of the Eoman plough. Yarro tells us that when 
the bun's was broken, the share was left in the field. p Valerius Maximus relates how, when Atti- 
lius Serranus laid down the rod, he was not ashamed to grasp the stiva or handle of the plough. q 
Yarro also derives stiva from stanch, and says that a small cross-bar, called the manicula, passed 
through it, which the ploughman held in his hand ; r and the same author also deduces temo from 
tenendo, because it held the yoke. 8 

An implement so light as the ancient plough, required great care and exertion on the part of the 
ploughman, who was compelled, by leaning on it, to load it with his own weight, so as to prevent 
its being pulled out of the ground altogether ; and thus gave origin to the Roman adage, recorded 
by Pliny : Arator nisi incurvus praivaricatur. I have not the original by me, but quaint old 
Philemon Holland translates the passage thus: "The ploughman, unless he bend and stoop for- 
ward with his body, must needs make sleight worke, and leave much undone as it ought to be ; a 
fault which in Latin we terme Prevarication : and this term appropriate to Husbandrie, is borrowed 
from thence by Lawyers, and translated by them into their courts and halls of pleas : if it be then 
a reproachful crime for lawyers to abuse their clients by way of collusion, we ought to take heed 
how we deceive and mock the ground." 

In this sense, the Irish decidedly "deceived and mocked" the ground. As late as the beginning 
of the present century, the people of Cork believed that much or deep ploughing weakened the land;* 
and even then they still carried out their old practice of sowing barlej-, oats, and wheat "under the 
plough," (as they termed it,) that was, scattering the seed on the un tilled ground previous to plough- 
ing; a practice of the highest antiquity, for, in the Egyptian paintings already referred to, we see 
the sower in advance scattering the seed, followed by the ploughman turning over the soil. 

p " Terram boves proscindere nisi magnis viribus non qui quasi est temo inter boves," Be Lingua Latina. 

possimtet srepe fracta bura reliquunt vomeres in arvo." Lib. iv. 

'< v" 67 '-' s "Temo dictus a tenendo. is enim continet jugum." 

'i ''-Nee fuit in rubori eburnco scipione deposito, De Lingua Latina. See also last note, 

agrestein stiyam aratri repotere." t Toumsend's General and Statistical Survey of the County 

r "fcupra id regula qu;e stat. stiva a stanclo. et in ea of Cork. 
tran versa regula, manicula. <|iiod manu bubuki tenetur. 


But, I may be asked, how were horses guided when ploughing by the tail? and this is scarcely the 
least strange or least barbarous part of the matter. A man armed with a stick walked backwards 
before the horses, and directed their movements by heating them on the head. Young, when speaking 
of ploughing by the tail in Mayo, says : " The fellow who leads the horses of a plough, walks 
backwards before them the whole day long, and strikes them in the face." u Mr. Eobcrtson, in 
Observations and Facts on the Breed of Horses in Scotland, published in the Transactions of the 
Society of Scottish Antiquaries, in 1792, coolly alludes (as if nothing uncommon) to "the awkward 
custom of yoking horses by the tail, and the driver of harrows walking baclnvards, with his face 
directly turned to the horses." In 1809, when ploughing by the tail was almost obsolete, the old 
custom of directing horses was still kept up. Wakefield saw, in Sligo, a harrow drawn by four 
horses abreast, directed by a man walking backwards, who kept continually beating them on their 
heads. It is clear, too, that when ploughing by the tail, the wretched animals were ranged abreast, 
their tails being fastened to a cross-bar placed at the end of the draught-pole. 




( Continued from page ol.J 

" 'Tis time to observe occurrences, and let nothing remarkable escape us; the supinity of elder times hath left 
so much in silence, or time hath so martyred the records." Sir Thomas Browne, on Urn-Burial. 

" The question of the fixity of all or any of the characters by which the races cf mankind are at present distin- 
guished from each other, requires for its solution a comparison of the present with the past. No valid proof of 
their permanence can be drawn from the limited experience of a few generations ; and no evidence of change can 
be reasonably looked for, except under the long-continued agency of modifying causes." Carpenter, on the Varit tics 
of Mankind. 

1) R CM BO. 

Tin- circumstances connected with the examination of the round tower of Drumbo having 
been fully detailed by- Mr. (Jetty in a prcviuus number of this Journal [vol. 3, p. 113], it is 
unnecessary to recapitulate them here. It will be suilieient to stud- that, at a depth of seven 
feet from the surface of the material which tilled up the base of the tower, and embedded, "fosxil- 
li/ce," in the natural soil upon which the tower stood, the greater portion of a human skeleton was 

" ,1 '/' i I 


discovered, so situated as to leave no doubt upon the minds of the observers that it must have been 
deposited therein when the building was in course of erection. The skeleton lay in the direction 
of east and west, its several bones occupying their proper relative positions, and the head being 
towards the west. The bones of the right arm and of both the lower extremities were absent, 
whether in consequence of the body having been partially dismembered previous to its interment, 
or owing to subsequent decay, it was impossible accurately to determine ; although appearances 
seemed, rather of the two, to favour the former supposition, as the condition of the remaining 
bones rendered it scarcely probable that so large an amount, and such important portions, of the 
skeleton could have been so completely destroyed by decomposition as to leave no trace of their 
having existed. The remainder of the skeleton, more or less decayed according to the original 
density of the several bones, bore testimony to its having belonged to a man of large and powerful 
frame, probably from 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches in height : the head and trunk, measured in situ, 
being 2 feet 5 inches long, and the femur, or thigh-bone, 1 foot 10 inches; giving 4 feet 3 inches as 
the length from the crown of the head to the extremity of the knee; to which 1 foot 10 inches 
or 1 foot 1 1 inches may be added as the proportionate length of the leg and heel. The skull, con- 
sidering the great length of time it must have been in the earth, was in a singular state of preser- 
vation. The nasal and turbinated bones, the interior and inferior walls of the orbits, and almost 
the entire of the zygomatic arches had been destroyed ; not in consequence of decay, but appa- 
rently, from injury inflicted during its disinterment, the bones of the face having been separated 
from their attachments, and requiring to be artificially replaced and secured. The front teeth of 
the upper jaw had likewise been displaced by violence, their alveolar sockets broken away, and 4 
of them lost only 1 1 remaining, whilst but one appeared to have been removed during life. The 
lower jaw was partially decayed in some places, but otherwise uninjured, and contained its full 
complement of teeth. These were much worn down by attrition, particularly the molars or 
grinders, one of which was more than half destroyed by caries. For the remainder of the skull, 
(the cdlvarium, or brain-box proper,) it retained all the characteristics of recent bone, not having 
parted with any of its gelatinous constituents; and continued to exhibit, particularly in the frontal 
region, a more than usual hardness and density the sutures being almost entirely consolidated by 
osseous union, but not so obliterated as to prevent their position being accurately determined. The 
state of the teeth and skull, conjointly, justify the conclusion that the individual to whom they 
belonged must have lived to an advanced age, probably 70, or thereabouts ; whilst the condition of 
the skull itself countenances the inference that it had been tenanted to the last by an active and 
vigorous brain. The following are its principal measurements : 


Cubic capacity, - - - - - - - 96 _ 

Greatest length from 10 degrees, - 7.5 

breadth, ------- (j.2 

Circumference, - - - - - - - 21.0 



Frontal arch, ------- 6.6 

Parietal ------- 6.1 

Occipital, -------- 4.9 

Sum of do., or Occipitofrontal, - - - - - 16 5 

Mastoidal, ------.. \q.o 

Proportional length and breadth, - - - 1.0 ^ .83 

The remainder of the proportional measurements are given in Table 1, at the end of this article. 

If the reader will now so far anticipate our inquiry as to turn to those Tables, he will there find 
what, most probably, will appear to be, at first sight, a confused and incomprehensible array of 
figures, but which, nevertheless, when classified, and reduced into proper tabular forms, yield the 
following demonstrable general results: lstly, that amongst the 104 skulls therein recorded, whose 
length and breadth have been accurately measured, individual specimens are to be found, of every 
variety of length, from 6^- inches, the lowest, up to 8^ inches, the highest; that, in like manner, 
their breadths vary from 5^ inches to 6 T 2 -g- inches ; and that these varieties are not thrown con- 
fusedly together, in irregular quantities, but appear to group themselves in obedience to some 
controlling law or order of arrangement, which will more fully develop itself as we proceed; and 
that, of 50 skulls whose cubic capacity has been ascertained, a similar divergence, subject to similar 
control, may be observed within the limits of 75 and 107 cubic inches : 2ndly, that, of 26 skulls, 
whose proportional measurements have been carefully determined, upon the plan propounded in the 
introductory portion of this article (page 33 et seq.) the culminating point of each, measuring 
from the auditory axis, is at 90 degrees from the naso-frontal suture, with three exceptions only 
[see the table of proportional measurements in the present number, and the previous one at page 
38], which, as the difference in each exception amounts to .005 only, or the -^-i-g- th part of their 
respective long diameters, can scarcely be considered to affect the general rule; that this radial line, 
which constitutes, therefore, the true index of the height of the head, ranges from 60 to 73 one- 
hundredths of the long diameter of the several skulls ; and consequently, that, as the other per- 
pendiculars of the skull, within certain limits, approximate towards or depart from this standard, 
so will its respective portions be relatively high or low : lastly, that from these numerical data 
arc deducible various numerical averages, which can bo employed as standards of comparison, by 
whose aid the hitherto vague and indefinite terms of large and small, long and short, broad and 
narrow, high and low, acquire, in relation to this particular subject of investigation, a more precise 
and intelligible meaning. 

Tested by these criteria, the Drumbo skull proves to be one of very considerable size. In cubic 
capacity, it is only 4 inches below that of Spurzheim;* and, though it does not approach within 

At the instance of Edmund A. G rattan, Esq., her which lie has been enabled to fill up the blanks left in 

Britannic Majesty's Consul at Boston, U.S., the writer has the column of measurements, under the head of Spurz- 

been favoured with the following communication from heim, at page Ml': and he avails himself of this oppor- 

Dr. J. Mason Warren, of that city, in consequence of tunity to tender to each of these gentlemen his respectful 

vol. IV. 2i: 


1 1 inches of our Celtic extreme, it exceeds the Celtic average by 6 T 6 7 inches. It is absolutely 
long, being only one-tenth of an inch shorter than Spurzheim's ; whilst it exceeds the European 
average of Professor Van der Hoeven b by 0.46 inches, and the Celtic average by 0.24 inches, 
although the Celtic extreme exceeds it by 0.5 inches. Its breadth is very great, for, though in- 
ferior to Spurzheim's by 0.2 inches, it exceeds the European average by 0.73 inches, and the Celtic 
average by 0.75 inches; whilst its proportional length and breadth (1.0 x .825) place it upon the 
proportional scale .015 above the highest, .073 above the average, and .175 above the lowest of the 
Celtic group; and it exceeds the European average by .035. It is scarcely of average height, 
being only .65 of our scale, which elevation it nearly attains at 40 degrees, and carries with it to 
90 degrees, giving a full regular curve to the crown of the head, the transverse curves of which, 
however, are rather low and flat. Anteriorly to 40 degrees, the frontal bone is broader, but not 
more prominent than the average ; and posteriorly to 90 degrees, the parietal and occipital bones 
keep throughout rather within the average. 

The temporal bones, however, are remarkably prominent, the whole temporal zone projecting 
far beyond the juxta-temporal, so as to give to the entire head a well-marked globular form, which 
clearly and unniistakeably characterises it as non-Celtic a circumstance of considerable ethnological 
interest, when considered in connexion with the date and character of the building in which it was 

acknowledgments, for their very obliging and prompt 
compliance with his request : 

" Boston, February 18, 18o8. 

Dear Sir, Mr. E. A. Grattan has conveyed to me 
your request in regard to the measurements of ilie head 
of Dr. Spurzheim, which is in my possession. There has 
been some delay in doing this, owing to the skull being 
with my anatomical collection and not at my bouse, and 
more particularly from its having been, for the sake of 
preservation, very carefully mounted and enclosed in a 
glass-case, from which it lias been necessary to displace 
it. The head had also been sawed through, not only 
horizontally but also vertically, making it a somewhat 
hazardous matter, lor fear of injuring it, to fill it with 
shot. Tids, however, 1 have safely accomplished by first 
burying it in sand, lightly packing it down, and then 
pouring in the shot. Even in this way, I found much 
care necessary to prevent it from opening, and the shot 
escaping through the points of junction. I send a speci- 
men of the shot used, also the weight of the shot in 
avoirdupois. The cubic capacity has also been measured 
by an instrument belonging to our Society of Natural 
History, invented by Dr. iSnortliffe, who made the cast 
which you have. 

It will afford me great pleasure to give you any far- 
ther information which lies in my power. 

lam, very truly, &c, 

J Mason Warren-" 
John Grattan, Esq. 

From the information thus obtained, the following 
blanks can now be filled up : 


Culiio capacity, .... 10O 

Occipital arch, .... 47 

Occipitofrontal do., ... 15.5 

Mastoidal do., - - - ie.0 

Long diameter of Foramen Magnum, - 1.0 

Transverse do., - 1.3 

Angular position of do., - 180 

b _This is quoted from Dr. Carpenter's article upon the 
varieties of mankind Cyclopaedia of Anatomy and Phy- 
siology, page 131. The dimensions there given, upon the 
authority of Professor Van der Hoeven, of Leyden, as 
the average of the European skull, are 7.04 inches by 
547 inches, which would be equivalent to 1.0 X 79 upon 
our proportional scale. As the average has been de- 
duced, however, from only 20 skulls, without any inti- 
mation of the races t hey represent, it cannot be accepted 
without considerable caution, inasmuch as, even in our 
Celtic group of 75 skulls, we find the length to range 
between the extremes of 6.0 and 8.0 inches. Twenty 
specimens, therefore, could not possibly furnish a cor- 
rect criterion of the average of the complicated popula- 
tion of Europe, nor, indeed, contain even one repre- 
sentative of each- 

c It may be well to remind the reader, that the pro- 
portional scale here referred to, is, as explained at page 
33, the long diameter of each skull, divided into 100 
equal parts by employing which, the subordinate mea- 
surements of every skull are expressed in decimal sub- 
divisions of its actual length. 

>7 : ?":*'?-7: ; , v -' 


i >' 'V- * S 




discovered. For this reason, and as it exhibits strong typical peculiarities, three views of it, re- 
duced to one-third lineal measurement, are given in plate 1 . 

In Dr. Petrie's work upon the Hound Towers of Ireland, these structures are proved by him to 
be of Christian and ecclesiastical origin, and to have been erected at various periods between the 
fifth and thirteenth centuries; and at page 398, the architectural peculiarities of Drumbo are thus 
specially referred to, as indicating it to have been one of the very earliest erected : " The oldest 
towers are obviously those constructed of spawled masonry and large hammered stones, and which 
present simple quadrangular and semi-circular arched door-ways, with sloping jambs, and little or 
no ornament, perfectly similar to the door-ways of the earliest churches. As an example of the 
quadrangular door- way, with inclined jambs and large lintel, I have given on the preceding page 
an illustration of the door-way of the Bound Tower of Drumbo, in the county Down." If such be 
the case and that it is so, appears to be now determined beyond all reasonable doubt it follows 
that the cotemporaneous skeleton discovered within its walls, legitimately lays claim to an anti- 
quity approaching to fourteen hundred years : a step backwards into the past which brings us to 
something near the time when England, deserted by her Roman masters, was struggling in vain to 
stem the torrent of Saxon invasion, pre-destined to exercise so large an iniluence upon her subsequent 
career; and to some six or seven hundred years before the first Anglo-Xorman invaders, under Fitz- 
stephen, had set foot upon our Irish soil : circumstances which invest with exceeding interest this 
time-consecrated relic of mortality, thus authentically identified with so remote a period of our 
country's history. 

The question has indeed been raised by some, even amongst those who admit the validity of Dr. 
Petrie's evidence and the soundness of his archaeological inferences, as to whether the human 
remains discovered within the Round Towers are coeval with them, or have been subsequently 
introduced ; and Dr. Wilde, too high an authority in such matters to permit of his opinion being 
passed over in silence, thus discusses the subject in his Beauties of the Boijne and Blacktcater , 
page 235 : 

"Mr. Getty of Belfast has been very industrious in the collection of ancient Irish remains ; and the Belfast Museum at present 
contains several specimens of old Irish heads. This leads to another locality in which bones of the ancient Irish people arc said to have 
been found. We allude to the Round Towers, particularly to that lately excavated at Drumbo, in the canity of Down, beneath which 
some bones were found. Interest was excited by this discovery, from the supposition that these human remains would offer some clue 
as to the origin and uses of these monuments, or assist in determining the probable era of their erection. Hie enchanted palace of th< 
Irish round tower lias, however, been opened for our inspection, and therefore all theorizing on the subject is at an end. Wc were 
presented at the time of the examination with a very beautiful cast of the skull found within the round tower of Drumbo ; and the 
moment wc saw it we felt convinced that, if it was of a cotemporaneous age with the structure beneath which it was found, then the 
Irish round tower was not the ancient building it is usualh supposed to be: for, compared with the other Irish heads, that skull i< of 
comparatively modem date. Now, nearly all the round towers are in connection with ancient burial-places, and that one in particular 


is so ami one need only dig around and without it to find many similar remains. We hear that the skeleton was found at full length 
imbedded in the clay, within the ancient structure. .Now, if the round tower was erected as a monument over the person whose skele- 
ton was found within, the body certainly would not have been buried thus in the simple earth, without a vault or stone chamber, such 
vh the enlightened architects who built the tower would be thoroughly competent to construct. Moreover, we do not believe that a 
skull thus placed loosely in the earth, without any surrounding chamber, would have remained thus perfect for the length of time 
which even the most modernizing antiquaries assign as the date of the round tower. 

If the writer might presume to express, with considerahle diffidence, an opinion upon a disquisi- 
tion which his limited attainments only enable him partially to appreciate, he would entirely agree 
with Dr. Wilde as to the conclusiveness of Dr. Petrie's researches, and the complete removal, by the 
publication of his work upon the " Eound Towers of Ireland," of all room for further speculation 
tipon their origin and uses. To a great extent, likewise, he must coincide with Dr. AVilde him- 
self as to the archaeological inference to be drawn from the fact of such a skull as the one dis- 
covered within the round tower of Drumbo being proved to be cotemporaneous with the building 
in which it was found. Here, however, he must stop. So far from skulls similar in size and 
form being common in all ancient burial-places, it has rarely fallen to his lot to meet with one 
of similar character in any of the numerous examinations he has made in search of cranial 
remains ; nor can he admit that the unusually sound condition of the bones is, by any means, to be 
considered as affording unquestionable evidence of the skull being so recent as Dr. Wilde would infer. 
The ability of bone to resist the disintegrating action of long continued exposure to moisture 
is largely influenced by its density, and by the amount of earthy constituents which enter into its 
composition. Now these differ materially, not only in the different bones of the body, but in the 
same bones at different periods of life; and are subject to be modified by disease, or by the preter- 
natural conditions of the adjoining tissues. Thus the earthy components of the vertebrae do not 
exceed 53.7 parts in 100, whilst in the occipital bone they amount to 68.1 ; there being, at the same 
time, during life, a gradual diminution in the proportion of animal matter, and a corresponding 
increase in the proportion of the earthy components. Dr. Carpenter, however, whom we quote as 
our authority for these facts, [Human Physiology, p. 261,] does not consider this to be nearly so great 
as is usually supposed, and attributes the greater solidity of the bones of old persons chiefly to the 
circumstance, that their cavities are progressively contracted by the addition of new bony matter. 

lie that as it may, the increased density of the bones in old persons is an admitted fact; and the 
more perfectly their interstitial cavities become consolidated, by bony deposit or otherwise, the less 
permeable do they become to moisture, and the more tenaciously do they protect and retain the 
animal mutter which is essential to their integrity. Furthermore, the bones of the cranium, in which 
we are more especially interested, are materially affected by the condition of the brain and its mem- 
branes, independent of the effects of age. In long continued cerebral disease, accompanied with 
increased vascularity, the bones of the cranium frequently become as dense and solid as ivory; to 


such an extent, that Spurzheim was generally able to determine whether the head which he was 
engaged in opening came from the Bicetre and the Salpetriere, or some other hospital, by the 
force which it opposed to the saw or hammer! [Gall, vol. 3, p. 56.] An analogous condition 
has been observed in individuals of intensely energetic temperament; thus, the skull of Lord 
Byron is reported to have been " excessively hard, without the slightest sign of suture, like that of 
an octogenarian ; and might almost have been said to consist of a single bone, without diploe." 
\_Phren. Jour. vol. 1, p. 609.] Hence not only does the temperament of the individual, and the 
condition of the brain, largely determine the osseous character of the skull, but its physical char- 
acteristics reflexly become, in turn, no unimportant index to the original quality of the brain which 
it contained, as we have ventured to interpret them in this very instance. Indeed, to this cause 
alone can be attributed the unequal capability of resisting external influences exhibited by different 
skulls when placed under precisely similar circumstances. In the sepulchral mound at Mount Wil- 
son, for example, which originally could not have contained less than forty skeletons, and which has 
furnished eight skulls to our collection, the greatest diversity of appearance was manifest among 
the crania, some being scarcely more decayed than that of Drunibo, whilst others were reduced to 
such a crumbling pulp as to render it impossible to remove them, even in moderate sized fragments ; 
yet none of them had ever had any other covering than the soil in which they were imbedded : 
and they must have been so exposed for even a greater period of time than we feel disposed to 
assign to that of Drumbo, which, for many ages of its long entombment, had been protected by the 
sheltering walls of its lofty sepulchre. Indeed, in the collection of the Royal Irish Academy are 
two primeval skulls, of whose extreme antiquity no doubt whatever exists, and yet they are quite 
as perfect as that of Drumbo; certainly they were inclosed in a chamber, not imbedded in the 
earth; but the continuous damp of thousands of years reduces even skulls thus protected to fragile 
ruins, unless its effects be counteracted by other influences, among which a more than ordinary 
density of the bone is one; a phenomenon equally observable in these skulls also.* Further, with 
the utmost deference for Dr. Wilde's admitted judgment and experience, we confess we cannot 
believe that the individuals who were present at the discovery of the skeleton, and personally 
cognisant of all the circumstances connected with the examination, gentlemen, moreover, accus- 
tomed by scientiiic pursuits and cultivated habits of mind, to close and exact observation, were 
not in a better position to observe, and more likely to arrive at correct conclusions on a simple 
matter of fact, than any one, no matter who, compelled, of necessity, to receive his information at 
second hand. But if any shadow of doubt could have remained as to the Hound Towers and the 
deposits beneath their lime foors being cotemporaneous, the subsequent examination of the Round 

* In the notices in the Athenaeum [Nos. 1320 and having been reduced to decayed fragments, the other as 
1344] of the tombs excavated at Cunue in 1K>3, only two being uninjured, and exhibiting au unusual bouy excre- 
skulls are mentioned; and, of these, one is described as sencc upon the forehead. 


Tower of St. Canice, in Kilkenny, must have completely dispelled it ; a condensed notice of 
which, from Graves & Prim's History and Antiquities of St. Canice, we here subjoin. The Tower, 
as therein stated, is 100 feet high, its circumference at base above plinth, 46 feet, 6 inches; diam- 
eter at base, 15 feot, 6 inches; at top story, 11 feet, 2 inches; battering off, consequently, 2 feet, 
2 inches. In 1846, on removing the earth from the base, externally, a plinth 6 inches wide, and 
but 2 feet deep, formed the only foundation; and this plinth "rested, not on the grave, but on a 
Hack and yielding mould, from which protruded human bones in an East and "West direction, a fact 
in the architectural history of the Tower, afterwards fully confirmed by a careful examination of 
its interior base." In July, 1847, the Dean of Ossory excavated the interior. The first stratum, 
4 feet, 6 inches deep, consisted of the Guano of birds, and was so rich that it sold for 5 ; mixed 
with it were some human bones, and various bones of other animals. "The human bones, amongst 
which was a skull of singularly idiotic conformation, occurred near the surface, and had evidently 
been thrown into the tower from time to time." The next stratum was about 18 inches thick, 
its upper portion consisting of calcined clay, containing fragments of bumed human and other 
bones; its lower, of rich loam, mixed with some calcined clay, small fragments of burned and 
unburned bones, and charcoal. Xext came a stratum of rich black earth, 1 foot 7 inches thick, in 
which were fragments of bone, both human and belonging to the lower animals, the former pre- 
dominating ; spawls of dolomite, partially used in the construction of the tower ; tusks of a large 
boar, and two pieces of copper ; some of the bones and stones exhibiting the marks of fire. Un- 
derneath these lay we now quote the words of the writers "a wide layer of stones, resembling 
a pavement, extending over a considerable portion of the area of the tower; it ranged with the 
internal set-off, on a level with the external base course. About two feet in breadth of this 
pavement remained at the East side, and a strip of it extended all round the wall. The dotted 

lines in the annexed diagram represent the boundary 
of the void or unpaved portion of the area of the 
tower. The pavement was covered by a coating of 
mortar, one inch in thickness. This pavement having 
been removed, the excavation was cautiously con- 
tinued, and on the AVest side, close to the foundation, 
the skull of an adult male was exposed, and this 
skull was found to form a portion of a perfect human 
skeleton which had been buried in the usual Christian 
position, with the feet to the East ; no trace of 
coffin or case, of wood or stone, presenting itself. 
Having cleared a trench about 3 feet wide, and 1 
foot, 9 inches deep, across the centre of the area, 


and collected all the bones of this skeleton, the writer proceeded to move carefully, with his own 
hands, the clay towards the North, when the crumbling remains of timber, apparently oak, pre- 
sented themselves, and the ribs and vertebrae of a child were found. The upper portion of this 
skeleton, which lay parallel to the adult one just described, was covered by the western foundation 
of the tower, and over the ileum lay the skull of another child's skeleton, the extremities of which 
also extended towards the East ; but the most extraordinary circumstance connected with these 
children's skeletons, and one that, were we not only an eye-witness, but also the actual excavators 
ourselves, would almost seem incredible, was the evident occurrence of a timber coffin, about an 
inch in thickness above, below, and, as far as followed, around the skeletons. The remains of the 
upper and lower planks were brought at some points nearly into contact, by the superincumbent 
pressure, but where the larger bones intervened, they were more widely separated. The traces 
of timber extended under the foundation of the tower, along with the upper portion of the first 
described child's skeleton, and that in such a way that it could not have been placed there after 
the tower was built. The timber, although quite pulpy from decay, exhibited the grain of oak : 
no nails were found." A second skull was found near the end of the child's coffin ; the lower ex- 
tremities, from the hips down, being concealed beneath the foundation of the tower. On sinking 
still deeper the bones of another adult skeleton presented themselves; but a regard for the safety of 
the tower precluded further examination, the earth having been already removed to a considerable 
distance below its foundation. The summit of the tower, when plumbed, was found to overhang 
its base by 2 inches ; and as the wall was originally built to a batter of 26 inches, this would indi- 
cate a considerable subsidence at the point of least resistance, which was exactly over the lower 
extremities of one of the skeletons. [See diagram.] 

It is thus abundantly manifest, from this and the previous investigations of Mr. Getty in other 
towers, that the builders of the Round Towers, by whatever motives influenced, were occasionally 
accustomed either to deposit within their walls, or to suffer to remain undisturbed beneath their 
foundations, the remains of their cotemporary fellow beings; and consequently we have every rea 
sonable ground for believing that the skeleton discovered within the Hound Tower of Drumbo, 
cannot certainly be less ancient than the tower itself. 


From Mr. Getty's comprehensive notice of this place, it appears that there is historical evidence 
of its having been the site of an ecclesiastical establishment in the early part of the sixth century; 
as, according to the Four Masters, and the Annals of Ulster, quoted by him, a.d. 548, St. Tigher- 
nach, who founded its monastery, died, or, as it is figuratively expressed, "rested'' there in that 


year. Of course, it must have been built some time prior to that date; and, in all probability, the 
Hound Tower was of still earlier origin, since it exhibits the same architectural peculiarities ob- 
servable at Drumbo the spawled masonry, with large hammered stones, and the rectangular door- 
way, covered with a flat lintel, consisting of a single large stone. We cannot err much, therefore, 
in assigning as its date either the close of the fifth, or the very commencement of the sixth century; 
in which case the human remains found therein may be presumed to have been nearly cotempo- 
rancous with the skeleton discovered at Drumbo. That they were as ancient as the tower itself is 
manifest from the several facts observed during their disinterment ; and, as the writer was not only 
present at all the preliminary operations, but, as soon as the lime floor was reached, excavated 
with his own hands whatever bones were procured, he can with the greater confidence vouch for 
the accuracy with which the proceedings have been recorded. There is just one little discrepancy 
between Mr. Getty's notice and the notes made at the time by the present writer, as regards the 
lime floor, which did not, in itself, offer any difficulty to the operators. The writer's notes state : 
" At this depth an internal offset, upon the same level as the first external one, was reached. 
The horizontal surface of this offset was covered with a thin coating of lime mortar, which ex- 
tended completely across the tower, making another distinct and well-defined floor. This having 
been carefully uncovered by the throwing out of the floor which overlay it, an operation attended 
with considerable delay and difficulty, in consequence of the tenacity of the material, &c." So that 
the lime floor, in this instance, did not, in any respect, differ from those observed in the other 
towers, although the contrary might possibly be inferred from the difficulty stated by Mr. Getty to 
have been experienced in removing it, which he has evidently confounded with the difficulty actually 
encountered in removing the floor above it. 

The entire number of skulls discovered was six, circumstanced as is fully described at pages 68 
and G9 of this Journal, vol, iv. and occirpying the positions there laid down upon the diagram. It was 
thus quite apparent that the body of one adult had been deposited entire shortly after death, but 
that all the other bones discovered had been removed from some prior place of interment, thrown 
in without any method or regularity, and covered up along with the body. The whole of the 
crania were in so frail and softened a condition that it was impossible to remove them except in 
almost hopeless fragments. The greater number of these were preserved, but, unfortunately, not 
all ; no idea being entertained at the time that they could have been so satisfactorily put together 
as was subsequently done. >y carefully saturating them with thin glue, cementing them together, 
and strengthening them with plaster of Paris, four of them have been tolerably well restored, and 
now admit of being measured with considerable accuracy. The group includes, so far as can be 
predicated from an inspection of the skulls alone, one female and three male crania. There is, 
besides, the posterior portion of the skull of a child, not exceeding 5 or 6 years of age, because, 
though the fust permanent molars are considerably advanced, the permanent incisors still remain 


entirely enclosed in the jaw. The sixth skull was so irreparably injured that no portion of it re- 
mains, except a fragment of the lower jaw. The measurements of the four more perfect skulls are 
given at large in Table No. 1, and need not therefore be repeated here. 

Before proceeding further, however, it is only proper to observe that casts, and skulls restored in 
the manner described, cannot furnish, in some particulars, more than approximate measurements; and 
that it is of the first importance to derive our data, to the utmost possible extent, from perfect skulls 
alone. In such a case as the present, this, of course, is manifestly impossible ; and yet such cases are 
precisely those in which it is most desirable to have correct measurements, in order that we may be en- 
abled satisfactorily to compare the present with the past. Where the continuitj- of the cranial bones 
is tolerably well preserved, and the temporal bones remain, or even when one of them remains cor- 
rectly attached to the adjoining bones, the outline of the skull can be determined with little 
difficulty, though there may be occasional defects or gaps in its surface ; and, in this way, the 
external measurements of these four skulls are, with very trifling exceptions, quite reliable. Their 
cubic capacity, however, can only be considered as having been determined in a roughly approxi- 
mative manner: as, in consequence of it having been found necessary for their preservation to conso- 
lidate their walls internally with plaster of Paris, the measuring of them upon Morton's plan, by filling 
them with shot, was clearly impossible. The method employed, therefore, for arriving at some proba- 
ble estimate of their original capacity was this : a square water-tight box, open at top, and having 
an overflow pipe about an inch below its surface, was filled with water until it flowed over through the 
pipe. When it had ceased to flow, and had arrived at a state of complete repose, skulls, whose sound 
condition admitted of their internal capacity being accurately ascertained by filling them with 
water and measuring it in Morton's cylinder by means of a float and graduated stem, were succes- 
sively depressed in the water in the box, until it reached the superciliary ridge in front and the 
posterior margin of the Foramen Magnum behind ; the car openings, and any openings which would 
have permitted the water to penetrate the skull, being closed with a stiff paste made of linseed 
meal and water. The water thus displaced, when measured, gave the external volume of each 
skull, and the difference between that and its internal capacitj- the volume of its walls; which, on 
an average of four skulls, amounted to about one-fifth of the external volume. In tins manner it 
has been attempted to form a probable conjecture as to the cubic capacity of five Hound-Tower 
skulls and of four casts, which furnished no other means of determining it. The capacity of all 
the other skulls has been ascertained by actual admeasurement of their interiors witli shot, as re- 
commended by Morton. This method of determining external volume is a slight modification of 
one devised by the late Mr. Stratton, of Aberdeen. [Contributions to the Mathematics of Phre- 
nology, page 5.] 

If we now turn to Table No. 1, we cannot fail to be struck with the very marked contrast 
existing, in several particulars, between the skulls from Clones and the skull from Drumbo. In 

VOL. VI. 2 F 


absolute size, one of them appears to be fully as large as the latter, the other three considerably 
smaller. In absolute length, there is very little difference. One is precisely the same ; two a mere 
shade (the -jf^o-th of their length) shorter ; and the other as much larger. In breadth, however, 
their difference is very great, the highest being -/-g-ths of an inch, the lowest T Vths, and the average 
of the four T B o-tli s > under that of Drumbo. In the proportional measurements of their profile sec- 
tions, some well-marked distinctions are also observable. Nos. 1, 2, and 4, at 90 degrees, are 
either identical in height with the Drumbo skull, or the merest shade above or below it ; but with 
this difference, that whereas the Drumbo skull attains its full elevation at 40 degrees, and retains 
it till it passes 90 degrees, in the others there is a more or less progressive ascent from zero to 90 
degrees, the radii anterior thereto being generally somewhat shorter, and those posterior to it 
somewhat longer than the same radii in the Drumbo skull. For example : 












100 110 120 



























Clones, No. 4 








































But this, it will be perceived, docs not hold good with regard to the fourth Clones skull (No. 3), 
which is singularly low, being only .60 at 90 degrees, an elevation which it attains at 30 degrees, 
and retains uninterruptedly until it reaches 110 degrees; thus differing largely, in this particular 
feature, not only from the Drumbo skull, but also from its own congeners. It is in their transverse 
diameters, however, that the greatest difference is perceptible ; for, whereas in the Drumbo skull 
the whole temporal zone is excessively bulging and protuberant, giving to the entire head, as 
already remarked, a strikingly globular character, the same region in the Clones skulls projects 
but little beyond the juxta-temporal, imparting to the sides of the head a somewhat flattened con- 
tour : the transverse coronal arches, except in No. 3, where they are particularly low and flat, 
rising abruptly with an irregular keel-shaped outline features recognisable at a glance in the 
accompanying plates. Judging from what remains of their several lower jaws, No. 1 would appear 
to have been a man of middle age; No. 2, a young man of 18 or 20; No. 3, a female from 25 to 
30 ; No. 4, from the very worn condition of the teeth which, curiously enough, are only 14 in 
number, and exhibit no traces of wisdom-teeth, either in progress of being developed or as having 
been removed a man somewhat beyond the prime of life ; No. 6, whose skull was unfortunately 
destroyed, still more aged ; and finally, as already observed, No. 5, a child of five or six : consti- 





'\r: '.' G f 


tuting, in all probability, a family group, several members of which, for some, as yetunexplained 
reason, had been removed from their previous place of sepulture, to be deposited along with a re- 
cently deceased relative in this, their newer sepulchre. 


Next in order of the Eound-Tower crania is the one discovered at Armoy, near Ballycastle, in 
the northern extremity of the county of Antrim [Journal, page 1 75, vol. iv]. It is worthy of remark 
that, in this case, no bones of the skeleton, except the three first cervical vertebra), had been interred 
along with the skull, and these were found occupying their proper relative positions ; proving in- 
dubitably that it must have been deposited there as a head, with its integuments attached, the 
decapitated trunk having been otherwise disposed of. 

The references on this subject [vol. iii., p. 3G0, and vol. iv. p. 175] show that it was no unusual 
practice for the early Irish (a practice by no means confined to them, but common alike to all rude 
nations) to decapitate their slaughtered enemies from a spirit of revenge, and, when unsuccessful, 
their own fallen chieftains, to prevent their bodies being subjected to a like indignity at the hands 
of their opponents ; hence, it is more than probable that this Armoy skull represents some person 
of repute and station, who had fallen in battle, and whose head, rescued from outrage by friendly 
hands, was deposited within the tower, just then in course of erection. 

It is a skull of moderate size, having a cubic capacity of 82 inches or thereabouts, being 7 inches 
below the Celtic average. Its length and breadth are very nearly the Celtic average, being 
7.25 x 5.5, equal to 1.0 x. 77 of the proportional scale. Its profile section is superior to that of 
Clones, No. 4, attaining its full elevation at 30 degrees, and maintaining it to 90 degrees. -Though 
absolutely lower than the Drumbo skull at 90 degrees by 0.15 inch, it absolutely exceeds it at 10 
degrees and 20 degrees by the same amount, and from 110 to 150 degrees falls short by amounts 
varying from 0.2 to 0.4 inches. Their proportional measurements are as follow : 











(>0 70 

.05 ' .05 
.00 ' .00 

100 110 




150 100 

170 ISO 













.(,.-, .;:, 

.00 ' .00 

.04 .<;i 

.i;.'. .0] 





.49 ' .44 

.45 .::s 



Thus, though 12 or 14 inches inferior in cubic capacity to the Drumbo skull, its proportional profile 
measurements anterior to 90 degrees exceed it throughout, but especially from to 30 degrees, 
giving to it a less perpendicular, but much more prominent forehead ; from -10 to 100 degrees they 


preserve the same relative difference ; are exactly the same at 110 and 120 degrees; thence to 180 
degrees they diverge again, the difference at 160 degrees amounting to .10, indicating a much less 
prominent occiput. It is in their transverse diameters, however, that the greatest contrast is ex- 
hibited, their temporal zones exhibiting an immense dissimilarity, not observable at all in the 
juxta-temporal. Thus, their respective proportional diameters are : 
































The perpendicular parietal, and the rapidly narrowing occipital bones of the latter, contrasting re- 
markably with their full and spherical contour in the former. The bones of the cranium are in too 
decomposed a condition to furnish any information as to the probable age of the individual ; but the 
appearance of the teeth still remaining, would seem to indicate that he could not have been young. 
To what particular era the building of the tower is to be referred, is also a matter of some doubt. 
Ul)on the authority of Dr. Reeves, it appears that the church was founded A. D. 474, and we might 
naturally conclude the tower to have had as early an origin; but the semi-circular head of its 
door-way, cut out of a single stone, while it places it within Dr. Petrie's definition of the oldest 
towers, seems, nevertheless, to associate it closely, in architectural peculiarities, with the towers of 
Kilmacduagh and Glendalough, of whose door- ways he gives drawings at page 401 of his work, 
and which he pronounces to be "undoubtedly" erections of the early part of the seventh century. 
It may, without any risk of error, therefore, be considered as not being of later date than the com- 
mencement of the seventh century a date which, at the lowest calculation, gives to the tower 
and its contents an antiquity exceeding 1200 years. 


The last tolerably perfect cranium obtained by Mr. Getty from the interior of any of the Ulster 
Hound Towers, was that discovered at Drumlane, in the county Cavan [see page 110, vol. v], 
Cnfortunately, the interior of the tower had been previously disturbed in search of treasure; and, 
though what remains of the skull procured there, is remarkably sound and dense, being manifestly 

235 , , 

that of a very old person, g both the temporal bones are wanting ; rendering it impossible, in conse- 
quence, to determine accurately its true height and breadth. Its absolute length is very great, 
being 8.2 inches, or -^ths longer than the Drumbo skull; T V ns above the Celtic average; -^ths 
above the one extreme of the Celtic range ; and 1 inch -j^ths above the other. Its breadth above 
the temporal region is only 5.5 inches, but it is more than probable that, upon the temporal bone 
itself, it would have somewhat exceeded that diameter ; so that its proportional measurements 
1.0 x .675 must, to some extent, undervalue its original breadth. In other respects, its general 
features so closely ally it with the Celtic group, that its extreme length is most probably to be 
attributed to a mere exceptional deviation from the typical standard, such as is occasionally to be 
met with in every department of organic nature; instead of indicating, as might hastily be inferred, 
any true typical modification. 


Besides the skulls obtained from the interior of several of the Hound Towers of Ulster, of which 
we have just treated, two others were procured in ecclesiastical structures of a different character, 
but of similar antiquity ; one within the stone-roofed chapel at Dcvenish, the other within the 
ancient portion of the present cathedral of Downpatrick. The circumstances connected with the 
examination of the ruins on the Island of Dcvenish have already been detailed by Mr. Getty [vol. 
iv., page 179]. Those relating to the discovery of the skeleton at Downpatrick maybe briefly 
narrated here. The fruitless search after the remains of a Hound Tower at Downpatrick in Sept., 
1842 [vol. iv., page 129], had the good effect of drawing public attention to such inquiries; and, 
in consequence, in February, 1845, the Right Itev. Dr. Denvir, ll.C. Dishop of Down and Connor, 
(to whom the writer is indebted for much valuable assistance on several other occasions also," in- 
formed him that a very ancient grave had just been discovered in the cathedral of Downpatrick. 
On proceeding to the spot, it was ascertained that, in lowering the floor to re-flag it, and to allow 
of a large bed of broken stones being placed under the Hags as a safeguard against damp, a consi- 
derable quantity of material had to be carted away. When the excavation had been carried to a 
few inches below the level of the foundation of the walls, the pick-axe struck upon some hard sub- 
stance, which, upon examination, proved to be the covering of a grave, containing a human skeb ton, 
much of it in good preservation. The grave was about 6 feet long and 12 inches deep, and had 
been excavated entirely out of the original or undisturbed soil, upon which the foundation of the 

R This is inferred from the greit thickness of portions internally, to supply the place of the shrinking and re- 

of the frontal bone, which in some places measured six- ceding of the br;iiu, which takes place in extreme old 

tenths of an inch, and in others not more than three age. Sec Gall, vol iii., page 30. 
the consequence of a gradual deposition of bony matter 


cathedral rested ; its sides and ends being lined with coarse flag-stones, from 2 to 3 inches thick, 
placed on edge. It lay due east and west in the southern aisle, at about 5 feet from the western 
pillar ; and within it were two blocks of chiselled red sandstone, one at cither end, upon the western 
one of which the skull rested. The whole had been covered over with flat stones, similar to those 
with which the grave was lined, their upper surface being about 8 or S inches below the level 
of the foundation of the building, which, at this point, did not appear to be more than a foot 
beneath the surface of the present floor.' 1 The abbey, founded by St. Patrick, who was buried 
there in 493, is considered to have been the first cathedral of the see of Down. It appears to 
have been a most unfortunate structure, having been six times plundered by the Danes be- 
tween the years 940 and 1111. It was rebuilt by Malaehy O'Morgair, primate of Ireland, in 
1135; in 1315 it was burned by Edward Bruce; it was again repaired in 1412; and, in 1538, 
burnt once more by Lord Leonard de Grey : in 1063, it was in so ruinous a condition that Charles 
II., in that year, erected the church of Lisburn into a cathedral and bishop's see, for the diocese of 
Down and Connor. From that date until 1790, it remained in ruins, its interior having been used 
as a place of interment for many generations. In the 3-ear last named, its restoration was recom- 
menced. It was opened for divine worship in 1817, and its tower was completed in 1829. During 
the progress of its restoration, not only were the materials accumulated within it in the course of 
ages, from human interments and other causes, completely carried away, but, externally, a portion 
of the old burial ground was also removed ; the hill, in order to construct a more convenient ap- 
proach, having been cut down considerably below the level of the Original graves, as was quite 
apparent from a section observable at one place, in which a stratum of undisturbed earth, 3 feet 
deep, underlay another stratum of equal depth, composed altogether of dark mould and human 
bones, covered at top with a rich coating of green sward. JSow, as it is very unlikely that, in 
making so sweeping a change, anything above the original floor would have been allowed to re- 
main, and as no trace of any interment upon that level was met with, cither in the northern aisle 
or the remainder of the southern one, there can be no doubt that the grave must date back as far 
as the original erection of the building, which, as it was of sufficient importance to tempt the cu- 
pidity of the Danes in 940, must have been, at least, some considerable time anterior to that date: 
but how long, for want of further evidence, can only be matter of conjecture; since, if even any 
vestige of the original structure should chance to remain, the many vicissitudes to which it was sub- 
jeeted,can have left no portion of it in a condition sufficiently perfect for determining its architectu- 
ral era. All that can safely be pronounced, therefore, respecting the skull thus discovered within its 
walls, is that it must certainly be above 900 years old, and may possibly be two or three hundred years 

11 At the time of our visit, the stones which lined the served the skull, and caused the grave to be cleared out 
grave had been removed, and the jrrave itself filled up; for our inspection. The particulars detailed were fur- 
but the Rev. Dr. Maoauley, P.P., had obligingly pre- nished by the contractor for the work. 


more. The skull from " St. Molaisi's house," Devenish, judging from the facts adduced by Mr. 
Getty, must be older still ; both, therefore, though probably inferior in age to some of those pro 
cured within the Round Towers, are not deficient in interest, dating, as they do, from a period 
long prior to the English invasion, and even to the first predatory incursion of the Danes, of 
which we have historical evidence. 

The Devenish skull is scarcely of average dimensions, its cubic capacity being only 86 inches, 
its length 7, and its breadth 5.85 inches. Its proportional length and breadth are 1.0 by .835. 
It has not suffered any injury from its long interment, and the condition of the bones would 
indicate it to have belonged to an individual possessed of a remarkably active brain, of a character 
more refined than vigorous. They are thin, dense, of very close texture, and in places translu- 
cent. The sutures, including even the frontal one, which is usually obliterated in early life, are 
perfect, delicate, free from coarseness, and exhibit no vestiges of triquetral bones. It is clearly 
non- Celtic; its measurements allying it closely with the Drumbo skull, exhibiting the same 
protuberant temporal zone, but counterpoised, however, by a far superior frontal development. 
The teeth are much worn down ; but the condition of the skull, in other respects, does not war- 
rant the inference that it belonged to a person who had lived to an extreme old age, but rather 
to an individual past the prime of life, whose brain and mental energies had preserved their 
activity unimpaired. When first discovered, there was attached to the occipital bone, somewhat 
behind, and to the side of the left condyle, a bony projection -^ths of an inch long, having an 
irregular oval base T %ths by y^ths of an inch, and terminating in a well-marked, but narrow, 
articulating surface, which would appear to have largely usurped the office of the adjoining 
condyle as the latter was much less developed longitudinally, but more prominent than the 
one upon the opposite side, whilst its surface, with the exception of a very small portion pos- 
teriorly, exhibited an uneven irregular appearance, incompatible with the perfect action of the 
part. Unfortunately, this abnormal process has had its extremity accidentally broken off, and, 
none of the vertebra) having been obtained, the exact nature of the articulation cannot now be 
determined ; but that it must have occasioned, during life, some lateral displacement of the bead, 
can scarcely admit of doubt. 

The Downpatrick skull is evidently similar in type to those from Drumbo and Devenish, as 
a comparison of their proportional measurements will prove ; but it is very small, its capacity 
being only 77 cubic inches, its length G.7 inches, and its breadth 5.0 inches. Its proportional 
length and breadth are 1.0 by .835. The bones are of moderate thickness, and in good pre- 
servation; but, though enclosed in a chamber, have been more acted upon than was the ease 
with either of the others which were buried in the earth, possibly in consequence of original 
inferiority of temperament. The teeth are sound, considerably worn down upon the right side, 
much less upon the left the sutures well-defined and perfect : the whole leading to the con- 


elusion that the age of the individual could scarcely have exceeded 35 or 40. The temporal 
regions are very prominent, the frontal one rather narrow, the occipital large and unsymine- 
trical ; the whole head, irrespective of absolute size, being inferior in the disposition of its parts 
to the Drumbo and Devenish skulls. The measurements of these three, and of Donatus, first 
Danish archbishop of Dublin, are given in parallel columns in the first table, but, for facility 
of comparison, the chief proportional measurements are repeated here : 


10 20 30 








110 120 [l30 






Donatus . . . . . . .48 

Drumbo . . . . . . . .51 

Devenish . . . . .51 

Downpatriek - - 1 .51 


























At Degrcces 







































Devenish . . 













Down, >at rick 













The general coincidence here is quite remarkable. The skull of Donatus is, indeed, inferior to 
the other three in vertical elevation, but it preserves the same relative proportions from 40 to 
90 degrees, and has this inferiority counterpoised by its superior diameter; the head exhi- 
biting the appearance of being somewhat abnormally flattened upon the vertex and protu- 
berant at the base the transverse diameter of the Foramen Magnum actually exceeding its 
antero-posterior diameter. At 30 degrees the vertical elevation of the Devenish skull exceeds all 
the others. Upon the same radius its temporal diameter is less, and its juxta-temporal consider- 
ably more, indicating a smaller basal and a more voluminous anterior and superior development 
of the frontal region; this preponderance being further enhanced by a corresponding diminution 
in the dimensions of the skull posterior to 120 degrees. Other differences, coincident with in- 
dividual peculiarities, maybe observed in them all; but the general correspondence is so very 
-nat as to render it more than probable that they belong to one common type. 


"With the skull from Downpatrick concludes the series of crania actually found within the 
Round Towers of Ulster by Mr. Getty, and of those apparently associated with them in date 
and locality. Before proceeding, therefore, to comment upon their ethnological bearing, it may 
be as well, perhaps, to examine, in this place, how far the monumental hypothesis, which ori- 
ginated the inquiry, is affected by the results. 

That the towers could never have been erected exclusively for sepulchral purposes, is proved 
beyond dispute by the Eound Tower of Devenish, one of the most perfect and beautiful of 
them all, in which no human remains were found, or had ever been deposited. On the other hand, 
that several of them were designedly so employed, is quite as well an established fact, not only 
from the numerous skeletons discovered within them, but from the circumstance also of a sepulchral 
cist having been specially constructed for the skeleton found beneath the tower of Trummery. 
How, then, are these admitted anomalies to be reconciled? It is matter of history that a vast 
number of our early ecclesiastical buildings were erected at the cost of private individuals, actuated 
either by pious zeal or a desire to compound with heaven for the perpetration of some offence 
against religion ; and, as Mr. Getty has already well remarked, these structures, though not erected 
for sepulchral purposes, were, and to this day still are, in some cases, used as places of sepulture. 
It is far from unlikely, therefore, that chieftains or petty kings, influenced by similar feelings, may 
have erected, or contributed towards the erection of, the towers, essential for the security of the 
church property; and, at the same time, have taken advantage of the opportunity to have interred 
within their sacred precincts the honoured remains of their departed kindred. Such a view of the 
matter is strongly confirmed by the annexed quotation from the Registry of Clonmacnoisc, a docu- 
ment of the fourteenth century, quoted by Dr. Petrie [page 388] : 

" And the same O'Ruairk, of his devotion towards y e church, undertook to repair those churches, 
and keep them in reparation during his life upon his own chardges, and to make a causey or 
Tocher, from y'' place called Cruan na Fcadh to Iubhar Conairc, and from Iubhar to the Loch ; and 
the said Tergal did perform it, together with all other promises that he made to Cluain, and the 
repayring of that number of chapels or cells, and the making of that causey, or Toghcr, and hath 
for a monument built a small steep castle or steeple, commonly called in Irish ' Claicthough,' in 
Cluain, as a memorial of his own part of that Ccmetarie ; and the said Tergal hatli made all those 
cells before specified in mortmain for him and his heirs to Cluain ; and thus was the sepulture of 
the O'Ruairk' s bought." 

It is to be observed, however, that Dr. Petrie expresses some doubt as to the authenticity of the 
document [page 265], though lie acknowledges that Archbishop Ussher states it to have been in 
existence in his time, and that an autograph translation of it by the celebrated Irish antiquary, 

vol. vi- 2 r; 


Duald Mac Firbis, is preserved among Ware's manuscripts in the British Museum. Upon some 
such supposition only as that now suggested can we reasonably account for the interment of a re- 
cent body with the fleshless skeletons of a whole family, as observed at Clones ; or explain the 
almost incredible anomaly of such a ponderous structure as the tower of St. Canice having been 
erected upon so insecure and compressible a foundation as decaying bodies and an oaken coffin. 
Assuredly, the architect who planned that building would never have imperilled its stability, as he 
did, or have compromised his own reputation, out of respect for common bones : much more likely is 
it that he thus acted contrary to his own judgment, in obedience to the wishes of some person of 
more than ordinary weight and influence, unwilling to have the bodies of his children and relatives 
disturbed, and yet desirous of having the tower erected within his portion of the cemetery. Whilst 
the investigation, therefore, has brought nothing to light in the smallest degree subversive of Dr. 
Petrie's conclusions as to the " origin and uses of the Hound Towers of Ireland," it has proved 
most clearly that both he and the members of the South Minister Antiquarian Society have been 
in error the one in dogmatically pronouncing the towers to be nothing but sepulchral structures, 
the other in denying, quite as dogmatically, that they had ever been employed by their original 
founders for sepulchral purposes. 

Having already encroached upon the limits of this Journal to an extent not originally contem- 
plated, a summary analysis of the remaining ethnological materials at our command is all that can 
be further attempted ; the full details, however important, would be too voluminous, and must be 
reserved for some more appropriate channel of communication. 

The number of skulls derived from Irish sources to which we have had access, and of which 
either the originals or casts of them are in our possession, amounts to 54. We had, besides, per- 
mission from the Very Rev. Dr. Spratt to take ample measurements and tracings of the skull of 
Donatus, already referred to in this Journal [vol. 1, page 203] ; and through the kindness of the 
lav. C. Buckley, P.P. of Buttevant, we were not only enabled to add to our collection the seven 
skulls obtained from that locality, but had also the opportunity of measuring the length and breadth 
of 50 others ; the number, indeed, being only limited by the time at our disposal, as, at a rough 
estimate, the mass of human remains collected in the vault of the old abbey could scarcely have 
measured less than 10 feet by 10, and must have been four or five feet high. In order to base our 
observations upon as broad and general a foundation as possible, the modern crania, as will be 
perceived, have been procured from very widely separated portions of the kingdom ; and, as it 
happens, even the more ancient prove, in several instances, to be from districts sufficiently remote 
from eaeli other to render it highly improbable that they represent mere local varieties. The whole 
collection, as a cursory survey will render apparent, resolves itself naturally into chronological 
groups, and may with propriety be classified as folloAvs : 


Number of 

7 Primeval or Pre-Historic, viz.: 

2 from large tumulus, Phoenix Park, Dublin. 
1 ,, small do. do. 

1 ,, sepulchral chamber, county Tyrone. 
< 2 ,, Ballynehatty, Giant's Ping, county Down. 
1 railway cutting (?) 

7. Of which five permit of their cubic capacity being actually or approximatively 
determined, and the whole admit of the other principal measurements being accu- 
rately taken. 

22 Remote, but not Primeval, viz. : 

8 from sepulchral mound, Mount Wilson, King's County. 

9 ,, Pound Towers in Ulster, and other ecclesiastical buildings. 
1 ,, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin (Donatus). 

1 ,, the ancient foundation of the old Castle of Belfast. 

3 ,, the bed of the Blackwater, Blackwatcrtown, county Armagh. 

22. Of which 19 permit of their capacity being actually or approximatively deter- 
mined, and 21 admit of the other principal measurements being accurately taken. 
Of this group, 18 appear to be Celtic, 3 to be non- Celtic, and 1 is Danish. 

25 Modern or Comparatively Jfodcrn, viz. : 

1 Cast of reputed skull of Carolan, the Irish bard. 
1 Skull from Old Poor-house burial ground, Belfast. 

1 ,, burial-ground, county Wicklow. 

5 ,, Cathedral burial-ground, Armagh. 

3 ,, Diniskeen church-yard, county Monaghan. 
7 ,, ossuary at Huttevant, county Cork. 

4 ,, Aghadoe church-yard, near Killarney, county Kerry. 

2 ,, Western Isles of Arran, county Gal way. 
1 ,, Rock of Cashel, county Tippcrary. 

54 125. The whole of tbis group is Celtic, and, with one or two exceptions, permits of 

all the measurements being accurately determined. 
50 Modern Critic, examined at Ikittevant, but only the length and breadth of which 
were determined by actual measurement. 

Total, lOt 


Most of the measurements of the foregoing, so far as they have been completed, are given in No. 1 
of the annexed Tables, and in the Table of Measurements, previously given at page 38 of the present 
volume. Of these Tables, it will now be desirable to offer some explanation. No. 1 is simply a 
tabular arrangement of the several measurements of each skull, in the order in which they are 
taken. It constitutes the basis of the other Tables, and, when the measurement of the whole col- 
lection shall have been completed, it is intended to arrange them in groups of ten each, by means 
of which each group will be complete in itself, and will admit of ready comparison with the other 
groups, or with any group of similar extent which may be subsequently added; thereby materially 
facilitating the operation of deducing general results from the data which they will supply. No. 2 
is a numerical analysis of the several chronological groups, giving the highest, lowest, and average 
dimensions, under their respective heads, of the various measurements of volume, not only of the 
whole group, but also of the local sub-sections of each group. The first, or primeval group, is, 
unfortunately, very small at present, but, it is hoped, may form a centre round which, in course of 
time, fresh additions may accumulate. Limited as it is, however, it affords some very instructive 
information. It clearly contains two well-defined typical varieties, of which the skull from 
Donaghmore represents one, and the remainder of the group the other. At the meeting of the 
British Association in Belfast in 1852, Mr. Bell, of Dungannon, exhibited a skull, of which he 
permitted the writer to take a cast. The circumstances connected with its discovery will best be 
given in the following communication, with which he has obligingly favoured us : 

" DrxGANXOS, 1st June, 1858. 

" Dear Sir, The skeleton of which you hail the skull from me, during the meeting' of the British Association at Belfast in 1S.V.>, 

was discovered in a cist-vaen on the side of a fort or mount, called Shane-maghery, near Donaghmore, in this county (Tyrone). The 

cist was laid open by some labourers, in removing gravel in order to repair a road. In the small rectangular chamber, formed of rude 

stones, and covered at top by one of larger dimensions, the skeleton was placed in a sitting posture, with the head leaning to one side. 

The thing which had moved with life in a remote age, seemed now thoughtfully contemplating the few of the present race which 

curiosity had summoned to gaze on its structure. A body of police with an officer, the coroner of this county, and several other medical 

gentlemen, were about to hold an inquest on the remains ; but they relinquished their purpose on learning that the person whose 

lion,, were before them, might have died fifteen hundred or two thousand years ago ! The skeleton did not seem to have undergone 

calcination. The ornamented urn which lay alongside of it, contained a small portion of what seemed to be turf mould. No implement 

tone, bone, or metal, was found in the square chamber, nor were any traces of spiral curves or zigzags, resembling tattooing, dis- 

le on the interior surfaces of the cist slabs. No fragments of charred wood were found with the skeleton. 

., , , ... I am, dear sir, yours respectfully, John Bell. 

'.Mm I. rattan, Esq., Belfast." 

I he skull thus brought to light, though, from its compact form, it may appear small to the eye, 
exceeds the Celtic average by four cubic inches. Us length is ^ths of an inch below the Celtic 
average, and its breadth the same amount above it : its proportional breadth .83, placing it nearly 
on a par with the crania of oar 2nd group. There is this distinction between them, however that " 


instead of its temporal region being protuberant like theirs, its parietal walls are flattened and perpen- 
dicular; whilst its vertical elevation is very considerable, being .71 at 90 degrees, the average being 
only about .66 this superiority, moreover, being maintained throughout from 20 to 120 degrees. 
At a meeting of the British Association in Birmingham, Professor Retzius read a valuable paper 
upon some skulls and casts of skulls which had been sent to him from the British Islands, with the 
object of showing that several of them were of a type quite different from the Celtic ; and he gives, 
as one of his illustrations, the skull from the small tumulus in the Phoenix Park in Dublin, which, 
in almost every particular, agrees with that from Donaghmore. In Dr. Wilde's work, already re- 
ferred to, there is also (page 232) an excellent drawing, on a reduced scale, of a similar skull, 
discovered in a small stone chamber on the south side of the Rock of Dunamase, in the Queen's 
County. The specimens, therefore, are too numerous, and have extended over too wide an area, to 
permit of their being considered as mere varieties especially as a similar form of skull is to bo 
met with amongst the aboriginal remains found in England, and over a large portion of the Conti- 
nent of Europe. Retzius is disposed to consider them of " Turanic" origin, to have preceded the 
Celtic population, and to have their living representatives in the Fins or Laplanders. The remainder 
of the group exhibits the long narrow form of skull with flattened sides, the proportional breadth 
varying from .80 to .74, the average being .77; and it is particularly worthy of oh-ervation, that 
the two extremes are to be found in the tiro specimens discovered within the large tumulus in the 
Phoenix Park, Dublin : proving, beyond all dispute, that the commonly received notion of cranial 
forms becoming more and more stereotyped the further back we penetrate into the obscurity of the 
past, is not countenanced by exact and accurate observation ; variety, within prescribed limits, 
appearing to be the law and not the exception, as might have been anticipated by any one accus- 
tomed to watch, with an observant eye, the countless varieties of mental combination exhibited by 
every race, and to recognise, in the human brain, the material instrument of the human mind. A 
description of the tumulus in which these skulls were discovered will be found in the Proceedings 
of the Royal Iris// Academy [vol. i, page 186]. There was found with them a hbula of bone, ajfint 
knife or arrow-head, and the remains of a necklace of shells, of which a restored sketch is given in 
"Wilde's Catalogue of the antiquities in the museum of the Royal Irish Academy, page 183. All 
their concomitants, therefore, prove them to he the relics of a people upon whom the first dawn of 
civilisation had not as yet broken; and their occupancy of a common tomb would imply that they 
were not only cotemporaneous, but of kindred blood. Whether wo consider, therefore, their close 
relationship to each other, as regards race or consanguinity, their extreme remoteness from us in 
point of time, and their consequent protection from the various modifying influences exercised by 
long-continued civilising agencies and international cjmmunication, no more favourable specimens 
could have been selected for testing the assumption already referred to, or the doctrine, which we 
hope to establish in another Table, that conformity of type admits, as in other departments of 


nature, of considerable divergence from the typical standard. From the numerical superiority of 
the "long-headed race" in the primeval specimens hitherto brought to light, and from the universal 
predominance of the same form amongst our existing population, we are disposed to accept as cor- 
rect the opinion of Retzius, that the Turanic form of head preceded the Celtic, though both must 
have occupied these islands at a period antecedent to its earliest civilization. 

The 2nd, or Non- Celtic group, has already been largely noticed when treating of its three first 
members in their regular order. In the absence of any authentic standard of the Scandinavian 
head with which to compare them, our inferences can be nothing more than conjectural. There is, 
however, in some important particulars, so close a resemblance between them and the skulls of 
Donatus, an undoubted Dane of the 10th century; of Spurzheim, a modern of Teutonic origin ; 
and of King Robert Bruce of Scotland, whose pedigree included two Danish, nine Norwegian, and 
two 2s orman ancestors in twenty generations [Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 
vol. i., page 240], that it appears by no means improbable that some intermixture of Teutonic or 
Scandinavian blood may have obtained a friendly footing in the North of Ireland prior to the fifth 
century. Certainly, the skulls referred to are not Celtic, and the localities in which they were in- 
terred preclude the idea of their being of hostile introduction. 

The 3rd group includes the remainder of the skulls already described, and, with the exception of 
the sub-group from Mount Wilson, will not require any comment. In it are several well-marked 
modifications of head ; all, with the exception of No. 3, exhibiting the peculiarities of extreme 
proportional length, with a tendency to vertical, instead of lateral development. No. 3, however, 
so closely approaches in form to the type of head of which the skull from Donaghmore is an exam- 
ple, as to lead to the conclusion that, at the date of the Mount Wilson interments, which must 
have been very many centuries subsequent to the interment of the skeleton at Donaghmore, the 
race to which the latter belonged, had not become extinct altogether, but continued to linger 
amongst, and perhaps contributed to modify, the more numerous population which surrounded it. 
In No. 2, on the other hand, of which three reduced drawings are given in Plate 1, we have an 
illustration of the extent to which the vertical dimensions of the cranium may be developed. It is 
truly a noble skull, and noble must have been the aspirations of the mind of which it was once the 
tabernacle. Even though the intellect should tail to appreciate their moral and intellectual import, 
the eye instinctively recognises the beauty and symmetry of its proportions, the impressive dignity 
<>f its lofty profile, and the graceful curvature of its transverse coronal arches. Though its cubic 
capacity exceeds Spm-zheim's by 5 inches, and the Celtic average by upwards of 15 inches, its 
length is yVH :m( l lts breadth yVths f an inch less than Spurzheini's. Compared with the Celtic 
average, its length is precisely the same (7.25 inches), and its breadth a little above it. Its pro- 
portional length and breadth being 1.0 x .77 the Celtic average 1.0 x .75; the entire preponder- 
ance in volume, therefore, depends upon its greater coronal elevation, which at 90 degrees is .73, 


the average being under .67. The texture of the bone, too, is quite in keeping with the other 
features of the skull, being exceedingly thin, fine, and delicately regular upon its surface, circum- 
stances which would almost induce the belief that it has been the representative of some family 
where originally high endowments had been hereditarily improved by moral and intellectual 
culture ; in which case, it would require no great stretch of imagination to conceive that its owner 
may, in his day, have been some Brchon of distinguished reputation, and have discharged, with 
honour to himself, and benefit to his race, the duty of interpreting and administering those very 
Laws which are now in course of publication. Indeed, even in this small group, the tenants of one 
common tomb, and the apparent victims of some common calamity, wc have modifications of cranial 
forms and magnitudes which exhibit irrefragable cranial evidence that, however remote their date, 
there existed, then as now, gradations of moral and intellectual endowments, in consequence 
whereof some are destined to be governors and teachers, whilst others require to be governed and 
taught ; to that extent demonstrating that difference of rank and station are an inevitable law 
of our nature. A notice of the examination of the sepulchral mound at Mount AVilson will be 
found in this Journal, [vol. i., pp. 276 et scq.~\ As the 4th or modern group sufficiently explains 
itself, we may pass on to Table 3. 

In this Table the cubic capacity, the absolute length and breadth, and the proportional length 
and breadth of the whole are re-grouped in accordance with their dimensional relations, exhibiting 
at one view, the point towards which they gravitate, so to say, and the limits within which they 
are permitted to oscillate. 

From the 2nd Table we learn that the average cubic capacity of the 4th group of 25 Celtic skulls 
is 89.4 inches, and its extremes 107 and 75 inches. By referring to Table 3, it will be seen that 13 
are below the average, and 12 above it; 14 of the whole ranging between 84 and 92 inches: these, 
therefore, constitute the prevailing sizes, the outlying ones being fewer and more scattered. Turning 
again to Table 2, wc find the average length of 75 Celtic skulls to be 7.26 inches, the extremes 8.2 
and 6.6 inches 61 of the whole number, however, are included between 7 and 7.6 inches, and 27 
of the 61 between 7.2 and 7.3 inches, the average. In like manner, their breadth fluctuates between 
5.1 and 5.9 inches, the chief preponderance being from 5.3 to 5.6 inches, and the average 5.45 
inches. But, as neither the length nor the breadth, considered independently, can furnish a 
true criterion of the proportionate length or breadth of a skull, since along head may be very 
broad, and a short head be very narrow, it becomes necessary to reduce them to their propor- 
tional values, (that is, their breadth expressed in decimal subdivisions of their length,) in order 
that the beauty and harmony of the law, in obedience to which they arrange themselves, may 
become fully apparent. Thus the proportional average breadth of the whole 75 is .75, or more 
exactly .753, a result easily arrived at by dividing the average length 7.26 inches, into the average 
breadth 5.45 inches; but this only un perfectly expresses the fact. If we turn again to Table 3, 


undor the head of proportional breadth, we shall find that not only is .75 the average, hut that it occu- 
pies the point of highest numerical value in the table, the numbers progressively decreasing, as we 
depart from it in either direction; 67 of the whole group being comprised within the limits of .71 
and .79 : proving to a demonstration that, while a wide margin is allowed upon either side for 
individual development, the permanency of the type is carefully provided for by the preponderance 
of the mass. And, accordingly, we find in our modern group, individual specimens resembling 
their remote predecessors of the primeval period, considerably more closely even than the specimens 
from the large tumulus in the Phoenix Park resemble each other. Nor is this all, it proves, so 
far as cranial testimony alone can do, that the Celtic population of Ireland, no matter by how 
many immigrations introduced, must be originally from one parent stock ; else, if the long and 
short headed specimens occasionally to be met with were truly typical, instead of being exceptional 
varieties, we should have two centres of aggregation, shading gradually off into each other, instead of 
one only as is the case ; and this conclusion is further confirmed by the very pertinent philological 
observation made by Dr. Wilde [Beauties of the Boyne and Blackwater, page 223 :] "It is a fact, 
curious, but generally overlooked by Irish historians, who bring hither colonies of different 
nations, that there are but the remains of one language known in manuscripts or spoken 
amongst us." The purport of the 4th Table is to show the manner in which the other propor- 
tional measurements may also be calculated; but as that part of our enquiry has not yet been fully 
completed, it would be premature to enter upon it here : neither is this the time, nor would it 
be the place, to discuss the Phrenological bearing of the structural peculiarities which it has 
been our endeavour to record: the indulgence of the reader has already been more than sufficiently 
trespassed upon. "We shall, therefore, so far as this Journal is concerned, take leave of the 
subject, pleading our justification for having adventured upon it at all, in the language of the 
same quaint old author, whose suggestive words adorn our introductory chapter : " Time, 
which antiquates antiquities, and hath an art to make dust of all things, hath yet spared these 
minor monuments. In vain we hope to be known by open and visible conservatories, when to be 
unknown was the means of their continuation, and obscurity their protection .... Now, since these 
dead bones have already out-lasted the living ones of Methuselah, and, in a yard underground and 
thin walls of clay, out -worn all the strong and specious buildings above them, and quietly rested 
under the drums and tramplings of three conquests ; we were very unwilling they should die 
again, and be buried twice among us." 

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No. 2. 



Cubic Capacity, 
in inches and tenths. 

in inches and tenths. 

in inches and tenths. 

GROUP 1 .- 

Phoenix Park, No. 1 


Phceuix Park, 3 & 4 

Railway cutting - ' 

Ballynehatty : 


Whole Group 






























Whole Group. 





. . . 


. . . 

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Old Castle, Belfast 


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"Whole Group. 















































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Total of 




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in inches and tenths. 

Occipito-Frontal Arch, 
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Mastoidal Arch, 
in inches and tenths. 

Proportional Breadth, 
in decimal subdivisions of length 





























































































.. . 


.. . 








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| .81 







1 - 81 





"Ireland possesses what may properly be called a Celtic style of architecture, which is as interesting 
in itself as any of the minor local styles of any part of the world, and, so far as at present known, 
is quite peculiar to the island. None of the buildings of this style are large, though the ornaments 
of many_of them are of great beauty and elegance. Their chief interest lies in their singularly local 
character, and in their age, which probably extends from the 5th or 6th century to the time of the 
English conquest in 1176. They consist chiefly of churches and round towers." . . . "No 
Irish church of this period, now remaining, is perhaps even 60 feet in length, and generally they 
are very much smaller, the most common dimensions being from 20 to 40 feet. Increase of mag- 
nificence was sought to be attained more by extending the number than by augmenting the size. 
The favourite number for a complete ecclesiastical establishment was 7, as in Greece, this number 
being identical with that of the 7 Apocalyptic churches of Asia. Thus, there are 7 at Glendalough, 
7 at Cashel, and the same sacred number is found at several other places, and generally two or 
three, at least, are found grouped together. 

' ' No church is known to have existed in Ireland before the Norman conquest that can be called 
a basilica, none of them being divided into aisles either by stone or wooden pillars, or possessing an 
apse, and no circular church has yet been found ; nothing, in short, that would lead us to believe 
that Ireland obtained her architecture direct from Rome : while everything, on the contrary, tends 
to confirm the belief of an intimate connection with the farther East, and that her early Christianity 
and religious forms were derived from Greece by some of the more southerly commercial routes 
which at that period seem to have abutted on Ireland. 

" Both in Greece and in Ireland, the smallncss of the churches is remarkable. They never were, 
in fact, basilicas for the assembly of large congregations of worshippers, but oratories, where the 
priest could celebrate the divine mysteries for the benefit of the laity. It is not only at Mount 
Athos, and other places in Europe, but also in Asia Minor, that we find the method of grouping 
a large number of small churches together, seven being the favourite ^number, and one often 
attained." .... 

" There is still another class of antiquities in Ireland, older perhaps than even these round 
towers, and certainly older than the churches to which they are attached. These are the circular 
domical dwellings, found in the west of the island, constructed of loose stones in horizontal layers, 
like the so-called treasuries of the Greeks, or the domes of the Jains in India." 

The foregoing extracts are from Ecrgusson's Illustrated Handbook of Architecture. 

The roofs of the round towers are constructed in the same way as those of the domical or bee-hive 


struct lives, mentioned in the last quoted paragraph ; that is to say, of stone in horizontal courses, 
with every course projecting a little beyond that below it, so that they are at last near enough to 
permit the arch to be closed with a single flat key-stone or cap-stone. This method of constructing 
arches and domes has the peculiarity that all the pressure is vertical: there is no lateral thrust. It 
is much weaker than the way in which we construct our arches, and, consequently, does not admit 
of a wide span ; but for domes of small diameter, like the roofs of the round towers, it is by far the 
best possible construction, as the absence of lateral thrust both saves expense and promotes the 
durability of the building. This, however, docs not apply to the arches of door-Avays and windows, for 
their thrust is much less than that of a dome, and is besides, in general, sufficiently borne by the wall. 

This method of roofing is common to Ireland and the East, as has been hinted in the last para- 
graph extracted from Mr. Eergusson's work. It is employed in the so-called Treasury of Atreus, 
which is the most remarkable pre-historic monument of Greece, or perhaps of Europe ; and it was 
the national style of India before the Mahommcdan conquest, for both domes and arches. I do not 
know, however, of any evidence of its employment in either classical or Christian Greece ; so that 
we cannot connect its use in Greece with its use in Ireland : and, as it is a much more obvious, 
and less scientific invention than the true arch and dome, it may have been invented by different 
nations independently of each other. The kind of roof characteristic of the small churches co- 
temporaneous with the round towers, is different from that of the towers themselves, being a tunnel 
vault, covered with a pitched roof. Both these roofs, and those of the round towers, are entirely 
of stone no timber is used : a very uncommon peculiarity in European buildings. 

A writer quoted in vol. i., page 17, of the Ulster Journal of Arclueology, says positively that the 
oi'igin of the round towers is from the Eastern Church, and that the pillar of St. Simeon Stylitcs 
was a round tower. I do not know of any certain evidence of this, but it is highly probable; for 
the use of towers, as symbolical ornaments attached to places of worship, is unknown to heathenism, 
but common to the Christian and Mahommcdan nations. The Mahommcdan minaret, the Italian 
campanile, the Gothic steeple-crowned tower, and our own Irish round towers, are all evidently 
members of the same family, alike both in position and purpose ; for the muezzin who stands 
on the minaret, and calls the Mahommedans to prayer, performs the same office as our bells. 
This similarity argues a common origin ; and where can this have been but in the architecture 
of the Christianised lloman Empire, which was the origin of all the Mahommcdan styles on 
the one Jiand, and all the Gothic on the other? The Irish round towers resemble the Ita- 
lian campaniles, (of which the leaning tower of Pisa is a good example,) in being detached 
buildings, though situated near the churches. The Gothic church towers, on the contrary, and I 
believe the Eastern minarets also, form part of the main buildings, out of which they rise. 

'I he established fact that the Irish round towers were belfries, and attached to churches, goes far 
to prove that the}' have no connection with the Norayhc of the island of Sardinia, the Pyrgi of the 


Greek Islands, or the circular tombs of Etruria and Asia Minor. The latter belong to the early 
heathen period. The Noraghe and the Pyrgi are of unknown date, but there is nothing to give 
them an ecclesiastical character ; and they are lower, wider, and more nearly drum-shaped than the 
Irish towers, and, consequently, were not belfries. Some of the Pyrgi, according to Colonel Leake, 
were, from their position, evidently built for fortresses. [See vol. i., pages 29 and 30 of this Journal.'] 

The round towers, and the churches to which they belong, unquestionably form a link in the 
chain of Romanesque a styles of architecture, that extends, geographically, from the Bosphorus to 
the Atlantic, and chronologically, from the extinction of the classical Graeco-Roman art, to the rise 
of the various Mahoinmedan and Gothic styles. Romanesque architecture is distinguished from the 
classical Iloman by the absence of the column and entablature; and from Gothic and Mahommcdan 
architecture by the semi-circular form of the arches, 1 ' which are generally pointed in the Gothic and 
the Eastern styles, and of the "horse-shoe" shape in that of Moorish Spain. It includes, as subor- 
dinate classes, the Byzantine; some of the Italian and Trench styles, to which the name of Roma- 
nesque is generally restricted; the early style of Western Germany ; the Norman -English; and the 

There arc some curious resemblances between Irish and Xorman art, which appear to show an 
influence of the former on the latter. One of these is the existence of a few round towers, like the 
Irish ones, in very old English churches, but forming part of the church, according to the English 
method not detached, as in Ireland. One of these is figured and described in this Journal, vol. i., 
page 27. The fact mentioned there, that its roof, as well as its walls, are of rubble, almost proves 
that its builder must have been an Irishman, or, at least, one who had studied the Irish buildings; 
for this implies that it is not arched, but built in horizontal courses, with each course projecting 
beyond the one below it, as I described when speaking of the Irish towers. 

There is a kind of ornament common in Xorman buildings, consisting of interlacing bands, like 
the style which is so characteristic of ancient Irish art, alike in the illuminations of manuscripts, 
in jewellery, and on the stone crosses. Two specimens of this are figured in the fifth edition of 
Packman's English Architecture. One of these is a font, the designs on which are very like some 
of those given in Mr. O'Xeill's lithographed Illustrations of the Stone Crosses of Ireland ; the other 
is a pillar, and appears to show a debased variety of the style. This kind of ornament appears to 
be of Irish origin. Specimens of it are found on flat stones throughout Scotland. It exists in old 
churches in Scandinavia, and, as we have seen, in England; it is sometimes called llunic ; but 1 
believe the oldest, and also the best, example; are Irish. J. J. M. 

a The word may he objected to: hut I'yzantine is no is often quite impossible to frame definitions that will 

better, and " round-arch* d" does nut exclude the classi- tit all the facts. '1 here arc some buildings in England, 

cal Iloman. belonging probably to a period of transition, which con- 

b The semi-circular arch is generally characteristic of tain pointed arches, and yet arc proved by the mouldings 

the Romanesque style and the pointed arch of the of those arches to he Norman ; for it is now certain that 

Gothic : but every one who lias ever attempted a classi- the mouldings are a much better criterion of the date 

tieatiou of works, either of nature or art, knows that it and the style of a building than the larger features. 




( Continued from page 1 83. y 

Content, Moderation. 

97. Foghnaidh go lebr conih maitli le feusda. [Enoxigh serves as well as a feast.] 

98. Ts fearr tcine bheag a glioras na teine mhbr a Iosgas. [A little fire that warms is better that 

a large fire that burns.] 

99. Is fearr leith-bhuilin na a bheith falamh gan aran. [Half a loaf is better than being entirely 

without bread.] 

100. Is fearr poire maith bonn na dha pheire uachdar. [One good pair of soles is better than two 

pair of upper leathers.] 

101. Is beag a rud naeh fearr na diultadh. [It is a small thing that is not better than refusal. 

102. An uair is gainne an mcas 's e is fearr a bhlas. ["When the fruit is scarcest, its taste is 


Italian. In tempo di carcstia e buono il pan vecciato. 

103. Is maith an t-annlann an t-ocras. [Hunger is a good condiment.] 

Latin. Optimum condimentum fames : and, Jcjunus rani stomachvs vulgaria temnit. 
Italian. Appelito non vuol salsa- Spanish. A la hambre no hay panmalo. English. Hungry 
doys will eat dirty puddings. 
1 04. Is fearr marcaighcachd air ghabhar na coisigheacht o fheabhas. [Hiding on a goat is better 
than the best walking.] 

105. Is fearr diomhaineach na ag obair a n-asgaidh. [Better be idle than working for nothing.] 

106. Is feaiT fuigheall na bheith air easbhuidh. [Better have the leavings than nothing at all.] 

107. Is fearr 'na aonar na bheith a n-droch-chuideachd. [It is better to be alone than in bad 


108. Xa dean beagan de do mheis. [Do not make little of your dish, 

Gau fios nach peisd a bheidheadh d'a meas ; For it may be an ignorant person who judges it; 

Ni fearr an mhias mheith The richest food is no better 

X:i 'n mhias n-idh a d-tiorar leis. Than the ready dish which suits one's purpose.] 


109. Cha n-e gach'aon n-duine d'ar orduigh Dia sponog airgid ann a bheul. [It is not every one 

that God ordained should have a silver spoon in his mouth.] 

110. Cha lugha do mhaoin na, do mhuirighin. [Your means are not less than your family.] 

i.e-, Though you are poor, your family is small. 

111. Is fearr an t-slainte bhocht nana tainte air chnoc. [Better is health with poverty, than 

whole herds of cattle on the hills.] 
English. Health is better them wealth. 

112. Is fearr paiste na poll, [Better a patch than a hole ; 

Is fearr lorn na leun, Better be bare than utterly destitute ; 

Is fearr maol na bheith gan cheann, Better be bald than without a head, 

A's diabhal ann acht sin fein, But the devil a much more than that !] 
Scotch. Better a clout nor a hole out. 

113. Ma's dona maol, is mile measa mallog. [If baldness is bad, a scald head is a thousand times 


114. Is fearr suidhe gearr na, seasamh fada. [A short sitting is better than a long standing.] 

115. Iomarcaidh d'aon nidh, 's ionann sin 's gan aon nidh. [Too much of one thing is the same 

as nothing.] 

Latin. Ne quid nimis : and, Est modus in rebus. Scotch. Ower meiklc water clroond the miller. 

116. Is fearr teacht a n-deireadh cuimie na a d-toiseach troda. [Better to come at the end of a 

feast than the beginning of a fight.] 

117. Is maith an gearran nach m-baineann tuisle uair eigin do. [It is a good horse that does not 

stumble sometimes.] 

English. 'Tis a good horse that never stumbles. 
And a good wife that never grumbles. 

118. Suil le cuitiughadh a mhillcas a cearbhach. [It is the hope of recompense that ruins the 

card-pla3 T er.] 

119. Is fearr fuighleach madaidli na fuighleach mogaidhe. [Better the leavings of a dog than the 

leavings of a mocker.] 

120. Cha d-tuigear feuni an tobair no go d-teid se a d-traigh. [The value of the well is not known 

till it dries up.] 

"For it so falls out, 

That what we have ice prize not to the worth 
Whilst ice enjoy it ; but, being lach'd and lost, 
It'//// then ire rate the value." Siiaksi-eark. 

121. Beagan sil de'n athmigh choir [A little sued of the right sort, 
A's beagan bo a bh-feur maitli A few cows on good pasture, 
Beagan cairde a d-tigh an oil And a few friends in the tavern; 

Sin na hi bheagaiu is fearr air bith. These are three best little things in the world.] 


122. Curadh mo chroidhe oi-t, a bhothain, [The plague of my heart on you, little cottage 
'S tu naeh m-biann a choidch' achta g-cothan; It is you that are constantly in disorder ; 
Acht cail bheag bhuideach de do shochar But one little advantage you have, 
Moch no mall a thigim No matter how late or how early I come, 
Gur b'ionnad is fusa damh mo chosa 'shineadh. It is in you I can easiest stretch my legs.] 

English. There's noplace like home. Italian. Ad ogni uccello il suo nido e bello, 

123. Is fearr falamh na droch-sgeul. [Better (come) empty than with bad news.] 

Discretion, Prudence, Sdf-Redraint. 

124. An te nach ngabhaidh comhairle, glacaidh se comhrac. [He who will not take advice will 

take a quarrel.] 

125. Leig do fuaradh 'sa g-craiceann a'r thcith se ann. [Let him cool in the skin that be 

warmed in.] 

i.e., Let an angry man cool before you reply. 

126. Na taisbean do fhiacal 's an ait nach d-tig leat greim a bhaint a mach. [Do not show your 

teeth where you cannot give a bite.] 

127. Ma's maithleat siochaint, cairdeas, a's moladh, [If you wish for peace, friendship, and praise, 
Eisd, faic, is fan balbh. Listen, look, and be dumb.] 

Latin. Audi, vide, face ; si vis vivere in pace. 
French. Oi/e, vois, et (e taise 

Si tu veux vivre enpaix. 
Spanish. Ver, Oir, y collar. 

128. Na labhair gach nidhdo b'aill leat, le h-eagal go g-cluinfea nidh nar bh'aill leat. [Do not say 

everything you like^ lest you hear a thing you would not like.] 

129. Da fhaide a's bheidheas tu a muigh, na beir droch-sgeul a bhaile ort fein. [As long as you 

are from home, never bring back a bad story about yourself] 

130. Theid focal le gaoith, a's theid buille lc cnaimh. [A word goes to the winds, but a blow goes 

to the bones.] 

English. Soft words break no bones. 

131. Chan sgeul ruin a chluinneas triuir. [A story that three people hear is no secret.] 

Spanish. ' Puridad de dos, puridad de Dios : 

Puridad de tres, de todos es. [A secret between two is God's secret ; a secret 
between three is everybody's.] 

132. Cha deanann balbhan breug. [A dumb man tells no lies.] 

Spanish. En boca cerrada no entra mosca. [Into a shut mouth flies do not enter] and, 
Oveja que bala bocada pierde. [The sheep loses a mouthful when it bleats.] 


133. Is olc nach ngabhaidh comhairle, acht is mile measa a ghabhas gach uile chomhairle. [He is 

bud that will not take advice, but be is a thousand times worse who takes every advice.] 

134. Is furas beagan cuinte a leasughadh. [It is easy to mend little talk.] 

Latin. Non unquam tacuisse nocet, 

135. Is binn beul 'n a thosd. [A silent mouth sounds sweetly.] 

136. Na bi 'g 'ul eadar a craiceann 's a crann. [Do not go between the tree and its bark.] 

i.e., Do not intermeddle between near relations, such as man and wife, &c- 

137. Is fearrde do'n m-bro a bhreacadh gan a bhriseadh. [The mill-stone is the better of being 

picked, but not broken.] 

It is better to mend a thing tban throw it away : or, you ought not to go about a business 
too violently. 

138. Na luadh gach n>dh do chifear duit, [Do not talk of every thing you may see, 
Is beag an dioghbhail a ghni an tochd ; 'Tis little harm that silence does ; 

Eisu ie comhairle dhuine ghlic, Listen to the advice of a wise man 

Tuig, a's leig moran tharad. Understand, but let much pass you, (without remark.)] 

139. Blann marbhadh duine eadar dha. fhocal. [The killing of a man maybe between tw words.] 

The mistake of a single word may produce serious consequences. 


140. Is easgaidhe ticoin mi maidin. [ Evening is more active than morning.] 

i./\, Do the thing at once, for in the morning some obstacle may arise. Latin. Varpe dit m. 

141 . Is mithid a bheith bogadh na ngad. [It is time for you to be softening the yads.'] 

Tt is time to prepare for departure. 
1 12. Na cuir do ghnothuighc i\ 'n-diugli go d-ti a maireach. [Do not put off your business from 
to-day till to-morrow .] 

143. Thainig tu an la a n-deigh an aonaigh. [You have come the d.iy after the fair. 

Lntin- Post fe.slutu venisti. 

144. 'Sc trial! na g-ecarc ag 'ul goh-Albainn. [That is (like) the intended journey of the hens to 

Scotland, j 

The children, when they hear the hens cackling at night, say they are talking about going 
back to Scotland, where they came from. There is an old Irish tune called 'Trial/ na 
r-cearcgo h-Mbainn" This proverb is applied to persons who are continually talking of 
doing a thing, but never do it, 
vol. vi. 2 i 


145. Fal fa'n ngort a n-deigh na fbghala. [Putting a fence round the field after the robbery.] 

Italian- Serrar la stalla quando slum perduti i buovi- Spanish. Despues de vendimias cu2- 
vanos. [After the vintage, the baskets to gather the grapes.] Para el mal que hoy acaba, 
no cs remedio el de manana- [The remedy of to-morrow will not serve for the evil of to-day.] 
La casa queuiada, acudir con el agua, [When the house is burnt, to have recourse to 

146. A n-deigh 'aimhleis do ehithear a leas do'n Eirionnach. [After misfortune the Irishman sees 

his profit.] 

i.e., He sees what he ought to have done, when too late. 

Experience, Knowledge. 

147. Is maith an t-eblaidhe deireadh an lae. [The end of the day is a good director.] 

148. Fa choin-fheasgar aithnighear fear. [About evening a man is known.] 

i.e., After he has done his day's work. 

149. Is fearr an chiall cheannaighthe na. a faghail a n-asgaidh. [Sense that is bought is better than 

what is got for nothing ;] and 

150. 'Si an ehiall cheannaighthe is fearr. [Bought sense is the best.] 

151. Is a g-cionn na bliadhna innsidheas iasgaire a thabhachd. [It is at the end of the year that 

the fisherman can tell his profits.] 

152. Biann eagla na teine air a lcanabh dbithte. [A burnt child fears the fire.] 

Spanish- El gato escaldado del aguafria huge. [The scalded cat flies from cold water.] 

153. Is mall gaeh cos air chasan gan eolus. [On an unknown path every foot is slow.] 

154. Moladh gaeh duine an t-ath mur gheabhaidh se e. [Let every man praise the ford as he 

finds it,] 

Spanish. Cada uno cuenta de la feria, come le va en ella. [Every one speaks of the fair as 
he finds it-] 

155. Mol a dheircadh. [Praise the end of it. ] 

i.e., See how it ends before you say anything. Latin. Exitus acta probat. Spanish. Nadie 
se alabc, hasta que acabe. [Let no one boast until he has finished.] English. Dont halloo 
till you are out of the icood- 

156. Is maith a sgeulaidhe an aimsir. [Time is a good historian.] 

English. Time will tell. Latin. Tcmpus omnia revelat. 

157. Is fear eblus an uilc na an t-olc gan cblus. [Better is knowledge of evil than evil without 


He who knows what is wrong is more likely to avoid doing it. 


158. Cha ghabhar sean-eun le cabh. [An old bird is not to be caught with chaff.] 

Latin. Annosa vulpes Tiaud capitur laqueo. 

159. Mol do ghad, 's na mol do shlat ; oir is iomadh slat aluinn nach sniomhann. [Praise your 

gad and not your rod ; for many a beautiful rod will not twist.] 

Another allusion to the general use of willow rods for a variety of purposes. 

160. Is trom an t-uallach aineolas. [Ignorance is a heavy burden.] 

161. Cruthughadh na putoige a h-ithe. [The proof of a pudding is the eating of it.] 

162. Is ard geim bo air a h-aineolas. [The lowing of a cow is loud in a strange place.] 

Latin. Bos alienus suoinde prospectat foras. [The strange ox looks frequently to the 
door.] Spanish. El buey bravo, en tierra agena, se haee manso. [The fierce ox becomes 
tame on strange land.] 

Hope, Reliance on Providence. 

163. Char orduigh Dia beul gan biadh. [God never ordained a mouth to be without food.] 

Said sometimes to persons who complain of having too many children. 

164. Char dunadh dorus a riamh nar fosgladh dorus cile. [There was never a door shut but there 

was another opened.] 

Spanish. Quando una puerta se cterra, ciento se abren. [When one door shuts, a 
hundred open.] 

165. Char dhruid Dia beam a riamh nach bh-fosgoladh se bearu eile. [God never closed one gap, 

that he did not open another one.] 

Spanish. Dios que da la llaya, da la medecina. [God who gives the wound, gives the 

166. Char uaith na madaidh deireadh na bliadhna go foill. [The dogs have not eaten up the end 

of the year yet.] 

i.e., Have patience, you have still time enough. 

167. Is fearr muintghin mhaith na droch-aigncadh. [Good hope is better than bad intention.] 

168. Ta iasg 's a bh-fairgc ni's fearr na gabhadh a riamh. [There is a fish iu the sea better than 

ever was caught yet.] 

169. An uair a thig cabhair, thig dha chabhair. [When help comes, two helps come.] 

English. It never rains lul it pours. 


170. Is breithcamh mull Dm, L Ovd is a slow judge, 

Nach dearna 'riamli acht an choir ; Who never did anything but justice ; 
Chuir se Cormac a mach 's a t-sliabh, He put Cormac out on the mountain, 
A's h'ig se an diabhal 1c n-a thoin. And let the devil at his back.] 

Said on the downfall of a bad man ; or when any one who lias long practised villainy 
with impunity, at last meets his deserts. Who the Cormac was, that is named in the 
proverb, is not known. 

171. C'ha bliiann Dia le mi-run daoine. [God takes no part in the bad designs of men.] 

1 72. Is maith Dia go la, a's ni fearr na go brath. [God is good until day, and yet no better than he 
is until the day of judgment.] 

i.e., God's providence watches over us at all times. "Trust in God, and keep your powder 
dry," Oliver Crosiwell. The Spaniards have a pvoverb something like this last : 
Adios rezando, y con el mazo dando. [Praying to God, and working with the ham- 
17;; An nidh nach u-ithtear a's nacii ngoidiear, gheabhar e. [The thing that is not eaten, and 

not stolen, will lie found.] 
174 !- farsuing Dia 's a g-cumhanglach. [In the narrow strait God's providence is wide.] 
175. is minic a bhi dubhach mor air blieagan fearthana. ['Tis often there has been great dark- 
ness wilt', little rain.] 

Honour, JJisgrace, Shmae. 

170. Is beo duiue a n-deigh a dhaoine, aeht ni l*L>r. r a u-uOigh an naive. [A man may live after 
his kindred, but not after his shame.] 

177. Is uaisle onoir na or. [Honour is more noble than gold.] 

178. Is fearr paiste na poll, acht is onoraigh poll na paiste. [A patch is better than a hole, but a 

hole is more honourable than a patch.] 
1 79. Is beag a rud a shalaighcas brighiste, agus ni lugha a thuilieas diomadh. [It is a little thing 
that dirties a pair of breeches, but not less than what deserves reproach.] 

180. Glacaidh gach dath dubh, acht ni ghlacaidb an dubh dath. [Every colour will take black, 

but black will take no colour.] 

181. Lan duirn de shogh, agus Ian baile de uaire. [The full of a fist of gain, and the full of a vil- 

lage of shame.] 

For example, when a single egg is stolen. 

182. Ma's mor do chliu, cha mhaith. [Though your fame is great, it is not good.] 

183. Is buainc cliu na saoghal. [Reputation is more lasting than life.] 

1 84. Is fearr diol tnu na diol truaighe. [It is better :^to be) an object of envy than an object of pity. ] 



185. Is falta duinc a g-cluid dhuine eile. [A man is shy in another man's corner.] 

186. Ghnidh suidhe isioll goradh ard. [A low seat makes a high warming.] 

187. Is minic a fagadh an te bu mho mheisneach, a's thainig a deireoil saor. [Many a time the 

most confident person has been left in the lurch, when the humble one has got off safe.] 
As in battle, where the strong man may be slain, and the weak escape. " The race 
is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong." Bible. 

188. 'Si an dias is truime is isle chromas a cionn. [The heaviest ear of corn is the one that lowliest 

bends its head.] 

A beautiful metaphor, implying that the man who has most knowledge is always the 
most modest. 

189. Fear falamh a bheidheas gan nidh, [He that has nothing, 

Suidheadh sios a bh-fad o chach ; Let him sit far below the rest (of the company) ; 
mhcud a maise bhios 'n a chorp, Be he ever so handsome in his person, 
Is iomadh lochd a chithear 'n a lar. Many a fault will be seen in him.] 

Courage, Confidence, Self-Reliance. 

190. Na biodh do theangaidh fa do chrios. [Do not keep your tongue under your belt.] 

i.e., Speak out boldly. 

191. Na seachain a's na h-agair an cath. [Do not either shun or provoke a fight.] 

" Beware 

Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in 

Bear it, that th' opposer mag beware of thee." Siiakspeare. 

192. Beidh nidh ag an sarachan, 'n uair a bhios an niiireachan falamh. [The pertinacious man will 

get something when the shame-faced will go empty.] 

Latin. Audaces for tuna jurat timidosque repellat. Spanish. Alhombre osado lafortuna 
da la mano. [To the bold man fortune gives her hand.] English. Faint heart never 
ivon fair lady. 

Truth, Sincerity, and the reverse. 

193. Is fcarrde a dhearcas breug fiadhnuisc. [A lie looks the better of having a witness. 

194. Biann an fhirinnc searbh go minic. [Truth is often bitter. 



195. An lus nach bh-fuighthear, 'be 'fhbireas. [Tlie herb that cannot be got is the one that 


Applied to persons who offer to give or lend a thing, but unluckily it cannot be found. 
1 90. Cha deanann bodach breug 's a chlann a lathair. [A clown does not tell lies when his children 
are present.] 

Because they might contradict him. 

197. Cha deachaidh sc air sgath an tuir leis. [He did not go behind the bush with him.] 

i.e., He spoke out bluntly. 

198. Meallann a tear breugach a fear sanntach. [The liar deceives the greedy man.] 

199. Ni fiu sgeul gan ughdar eisdeachd. [A story without an author is not worth listening to.] 

200. Mhionnochadh se poll thrid chlar. [He would swear a hole through a plank.] 

Honesty, Justice. 

201. Ka bain leis an nidh nach m-baineann duit (or, leat). [Do not meddle with what does not 

concern you.] 

202. Ghoideadh se an ubh o'n chorr, a's a chorr fein fa dheireadh. [He would steal the egg from 

the crane, and the crane herself at last.] 

The crane is said to be remarkable for her vigilance. 

203. Saoilcann gaduidhe na g-cruach gur sladaidibh an sluagh. [The man that steals stacks thinks 

all the world thieves.] 

A thorough thief believes no one to be honest. 

204. Eugcoir os cionn gach eugcoir, eugcoir a dheanamh air dhuine mhaith. [Injustice beyond all 

injustice, wronging the good man.] 

205. An uair a thuitcas rogairidh a mach, tiocaidh duinc macanta air a chuid fein. ["When rogues 

fall out, an honest man will get his own.] 

206. Is beag a ta eadar an choir a's an eugcoir. [There is but little between justice and injustice.] 

i.e., It is as easy to do a just as an unjust action. 

207. Cuir an ceart 'roimh an bh-feile, [Put justice before generosity.] 

208. (Juntas glan fhagas ciiirde buidheaeh [Clear accounts leave friends thankful; 
A charas Criosd, cuir a nail an fhebirlin. So, gossip, hand me over the farthing.] 

Italian. Conti chiari, amici cari. [Clear accounts make dear friends. 1 Scotch. Ajt 
couulia' keeps friens lany tliegither. English. Short accounts make long friends. 
French, A vieux comjites, nouveUcs disputes. 

Pride, Self- Sufficiency, Boastfulness, Selfishness, Wilfulness. 

209. Saoileann gach eun gur b'e a chlann fein is dcisc air a g-coill. [Every bird thinks her own 

young ones the handsomest in the -wood.] 

Latin. Suum cuique pulchrum ; and, Sua quisque laudat. Spanish. Cada buhonero 
alala sus agujas. [Eyery pedlar praises his needles. 1 

210. Is teann gach madadh air a charnan fein. [The dog is bold on his own little heap.] 

French. Chien sur son fumier est hardi. Scotch. A cock is crouse on his ain midden. 
Spanish. Cada gallo canta en su mulador. 

211. Is teann an madadh gearr a n-ait a m-biann a thathaigh. [The cur is bold in the place where 

he is well known.] 

212. Ni aithnigheann a mhuc a bhios 'sa chro a mhuc a bhios dul a rod. [The pig in the sty does 

not recognize the pig going along the road.] 

213. Sin ag deanamh sgleipc os cionn sglamhaireachd. [Putting on show over meanness.] 

Said when a poor farmer puts on fine clothes. 

214. Ni thuigeann an sathach an seang. [The satiated man docs not understand (the feelings of) 

the hungry man.] 

215. Biann duilleabhar aluinn a's toradh searbh air chrann na sgeimhe. [The tree of beauty has 

handsome foliage and bitter fruit.] 

216. ']N T uair a bhios bolg a chait Ian, ghnidh se cronan. [When the cat's belly is full, she 

purrs :] and 

217. Is mur gheall air fein a ghnidheas a cat cronan. [It is on her own account the cat purrs.] 

Spanish. llalaga la cola el can, non por ti, si no per el pan. I The dog wags Lis tail, not 
for you but for the bread.] 

218. Cha chuimhnighcann a fear ciocrach a elm go m-beidh a bhru fein Ian. [The hungry man 

docs not remember his hound till his own belly is full.] 

219. Seed do shean-mhathair lachanaidh a bhlcaghan. [Teach your grandmother to milk ducks.] 

Latin. Delphinum nature doces, eel aquilam volare. 

220. Gach duine a' tanning uisge air a mhuileann fein. [Every man drawing the water to his 

own mill.] 

221. Is mian leis a chleircach mias mheith comb maith leis an t-sagart. [The clerk likes a fat dish 

as well as the priest.] 

Spanish. Quando el abad lame el cucuillo, mal para el monacillo. I When the curate 
licks the knife, it is b:ul for the clerk.J 

222. Is maith fa shcoladh an bhothair an te a bhios ole fa aoidheachda. [lie who is bad at giving 

lodging is good at showing the road.] 

223. Is maighistrcas a fueling air a thigh fein. [The mouse i- mistress in her own house.] 


224. 'Si a clineadh fein is luaithe mhothuigheas gach duine. [It is his own wound that every man 

feels the soonest.] 

225. Is mor an caolach a bhi air do bheagan arbha. [There was a great deal of rubbish in your 

small quantity of corn.] 

226. Molaidh an gniomh e fein. [The deed will praise itself.] 

Italian. Dal detto alfatto, v' e un gran tratto. 

227. Torann mor air bheagan ola. [Much noise for little wool.] 

English. Much cry and little wool, as the devil said when shearing the pig. Scotch. Mair 
whustle nor woo\ as the souter said when shearin' the soo. Spanish. Cacarear y no 
poner huevo. [To cackle and lay no egg.] 

228. Leig fad an aghastair leis. [Let him have the length of the halter.] or, Tcilg an t-aghastar 

fa n-a chionn. [Throw the halter over his head.] 

i.e., Let him take his full swing. English. Give him rope enough, and he will hang 

229. Saoileann se gur b'e fein an chloch a caitheadh leis a g-caislean. [He thinks that he himself 

is the very stone that was hurled at the castle.] 

i.e., He was the one who bore the brunt. This proverb seems to allude to the stone 
cannon-balls used for artillery in the loth and 16th centuries. 

230. Is binn gach eun ann a dhoire fein. [Every bird is melodious in his own grove.] 

231. Chan uaisle mac righ na a chuid. [The son of a king is not nobler than his food.] 

Often said by a person who happens to come in unexpectedly on another who is in the 
act of cooking his own food ; as much as to say, " You need not be ashamed." The 
saying took its origin in an anecdote which is told of one of the O'Neills, the Ulster 
chieftains. A bard on one occasion having entered a room without ceremony, dis- 
covered the chief toasting a cake for himself. O'Neill looked ashamed of his occupa- 
tion ; but the bard instantly addressed him in these impromptu lines : 

Is tu-sa an tighearna O'JVeill, 

A's mi-se mac t-sein mliic Cuirc ; 

Tiontamaois a t-sudog air aon, 

Chan uaisle mac righ na a chuid. 
Italian. A tavola non bisogna aver vergogna. [At table one need not be ashamed. I 

Against Trusting to Appearances. 

232. Biann adharca mora air bha a bh-fad 6 bhaile. [Cows far from home have long horns.] 

"We value things at a distance, or out of our reach, more than they deserve. Eng- 
lish. Far aivay birds have fine feathers. Latin. Omne ignotum pro magnifico est. 

233. Is glas na cnuic a bh-fad uainn. [Distant hills appear green.] 


234. Cha deanann aon ailleog samhradh. [One swallow does not make a summer.] 

235. Suairc an taobh a muigh agus duairc an taobh a stigh. [Civil outside and churlish inside.] 

236. Is minic grana greannmhar, a's eadan deas air mhisteair. [Often an ugly person is agreeable, 

and a mischievous one has a handsome face.] 

237. Troid chaoracha maola. [A fight between hornless sheep.] 

i.e., A mock-fight ; said of persona appearing to be very angry with each other, but 
not so in reality. 

238. Ma's olc a dath, is maith a dreach. [Though the complexion is bad, the countenance is 


239. Taisbean an laogh biadhta, acht na taisbean an nidh a bhiadhtaigh e\ [Show the fatted calf, 

and not the thing that fattened him.] 

240. Ghnidh aran cam bolg direach. [Crooked bread makes a straight belly.] 

Alluding to oaten cakes, which become crooked when toasted at the fire on the "maide 
arain." Many a person or thing, though rough and unsightly, is good notwithstanding. 

241. Cha chluinnean se an nidh nach binn leis. [He does not hear what is not pleasing to him.] 

242. Is anamh bhios teangaidh mhilis gan gath ann a bun. [A sweet tongue is seldom without a 

sting at its root.] 

243. Blichtear na ba buidhe, a's bltar a g-cuid boinne, [The yellow cows are milked, and their 

milk is drunk ; 
Agus theid na ba bana gan sal chun a bhailc. While the white cows come back from 

the fair, and no bid for them.] 
Yellow cows are said to give better milk than white cows, and therefore sell better in 
the fair. The proverb is applied to women, and hints that a girl with an uninviting 
exterior may make a better wife than a handsome one. 

244. Biann borb faoi sgeimh. [A violent disposition may be under a beautiful form.] 

245. Biann cluanaidhc a n-dcagh-chulaidh. [A deceiver may be dressed in fmo clothes.] 

246. Cionn eireoige air shean-cheirc. [A pullet's head on an old hen.] 

A hen's age can never be told by her head. The proverb is applied to an elderly woman 
dressing herself with a showy cap, more suitable for a youug one. 

247. Ainm gan tabhacht. [The name without the substance.] 

248. Is maith an sgcul (or, an grcann) a lionas bolg. [It is a good story {of, jest) that fills the 

Scotch. It \s good game that fills the tcame. 

249. Cha liontar an bolg lc caint. [The belly is not rilled by talking.] 

English. Fair xvords butter no parsnips ; and, Ifany words will not Jill a bushel. 
Latin. Fabulis venter non e.rpletur. 

250. Beiridh ccarc dhubh ubh bhan. [A black hen lays a white egg.] 

Spanish. Tierra negra burn pan lleva. I Black land produces good bread.) 



251. An uair a bhios an deoch a stigh, biann a chiall a muigh. [When drink is in, sense is out.] 

Italian. Vino dentro, sennofuora. Spanish. Do entra beber, sale sober. [When drink enters 
wisdom departs.] 

252. Is cuma Horn cumann bean leanna. [I do not care for the friendship of an ale-wife.] 

253. Is giorra deoch na sgetil. [A drink is shorter than a story.] 


254. Is iomad gron a chithear air a duine bhocht. [Many a defect is seen in the poor man.] 

255. Milleann a bhoichtineacht a choingeall. [Poverty destroys punctuality.] 

256. Ta gob a phocain air a chapan aige. [He has the mouth of his poke on the baking dish.] 

Equivalent to the next proverb, " He is from hand to mouth." The capan is the wooden 
dish or bowl in which poor people knead their bread. The proverb says that the mouth 
of the beggar's " poke" {i.e., the last of the meal) is always in the dish. 

257. Chan'uil aige acht o'n laimh go d-ti an beul. [He has nothing but from hand to mouth.] 

258. Is ball buan do'n donas an naire. [Shame is a constant accompaniment of poverty.] 

259. Brosnuigheann aire intleacht. [Necessity urges invention.] 

260. Is iomad sift a dhcanas duine bocht sul a sgabadh se tigh. [ITany a shift the poor man 

makes before he will give up his house.] 

261. Is buidh lc bocht a bh-faghann. [The poor are thankful for what they get.] 

262. Is baile bocht, baile gan toit gan teine. [It is a poor village that has neither smoke nor fire.] 

Spanish. Casa sin chiminea, de mugcr pobre o yerma. [A house without a chimney is either 
inhabited by a poor woman, or empty. 

263. Is ionmhuin le Dia duine bocht sugach, acht ni lugha air an diabhal na duine bocht lubach. 

[God loves a cheerful poor man, but he hates like the devil a dishonest poor man.] 
Spanish. Tobretepcro alegretc [Poor but merry.] 

264. Millidh an ainnis an t-iasacht. [Poverty spoils borrowing.] 

English. Poverty parts good company. 

265. An te a bhios sios buailtcar cloch air, a's an te a bhios suas oltar deoch air. [The man that 

is doAvn has a stone thrown at him, and the man that is up has his health drunk.] 
260. Cha seasann sac falamh. [An empty sack does not stand upright.] 
207. Ni baoghal do'n m-bacach an gaduidhe. [The beggar is in no danger from the robber.] 
Latin. Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator. 


Character, Disposition, Mental Qualifications. 

268. Clia robh se air faghail, 'n uair a bhi an cliiall da roimi. [He was not forthcoming when 

sense was distributed.] 

Spanish. Salamon pasb por supuerto quando nacib, mas no enirb denlro. [When he was born, 
Solomon passed by his door and would not go in.] 

269. Cha robh se go maith, o rinne slat cota do. [He was never good since the time that a yard 

(of cloth) made a coat for him.] 

i.e., He never was good since he was a boy. 

270. Falaigheann gradh grain, agus chi fuath a Ian. [Love conceals ugliness, and hate sees many- 


271. 'Se an t-uisge is eadomhuine is mo torman. [It is the shallowest water that makes the 

greatest noise.] 

Spanish. Do va mas hondo el rio, hace menos ruido. [Where the river runs deepest it makes 
least noise.] 

272. Is beag a ghaoith nach ngluaisidh guaigin. [It is a little wind that will not move a giddy- 

headed person.] 

273. Chaithfeadh an te gheabhas suas leis eirigh go moch. [The man who will overtake him must 

rise early.] 

274. Is treise an duchas na an oileamhuin. [A hereditary disposition is stronger than education.] 

275. Is buaine an buinnean maoith na an crann bromanta. [The soft twig is more durable than 

the stubborn tree.] 

276. Is iomadh taod a thig ann a la earraigh. [Many a sudden change takes place in a spring day.] 

A pleasing metaphor, applied to the fickleness of youth. 

277. Is mian le h-amadan iniirce. [A fool is fond of removing.] 

278. Is minic a fuaras comhairle gldic o amadan. [Tis often a good advice has been got from a fool.] 

279. Gach cat a n-deigh a chineail. [Every cat after its kind.] 

280. An uair a ghlaodhas a scan choileaeh, foghlumaidh an t-og. [When the old cock crows, the 

young one learns.] 

281. Ta go a n-aghaidh go, agus camadh a n-aghaidh cairn, agus casadh a n-aghaidh na gangaide. 

[There is deceit against deceit, and crook against crook, and twist against the screw.] 
Said of any person more than usually " crooked" in his disposition. 

282. Ta nios mo na a phaidireacha aige. [He knows more than his Pater-noster ;] and 

283. Ta nios mo na miola aim a cheann. [He has more than lice in his head.] 

284. Ta iios aige ca mheud grainne ponair a ghnidh euig. [He knows how many beans make five.] 

Spanish. Saber quanlas 2ias dene tin jnyne. [To know how many teetli there are in a comb.] 

285. Eriscann an duchas tre shuilibh a chait. [The natural disposition of a cat bursts out through 

her eves. | 


286. Thug so b dhuchas &, mur thug a mhuc a rutail. [He got it from nature, as the pig got the 

rooting in the ground.] 

lie inherits the quality, or vice, from his parents. 

287. Aithnigh cu geur a locht. [A sharp hound knows his fault.] 

Most people are aware of their own faults. Spanish. Cada uno sabe donde le aprieta el 
zapato. [Every one knows where the shoe pinches him.] 

288. Guid o dheanadh mac a chait acht luchbg a ghabhail ? [What would the son of a cat do but 

catch a mouse ?] 

Italian. Chi da gatla nasce sorici 2)iglia. 

289. Gach cun mur oiltear e, ars' an chuach a' dul 's a neanntaig. [Every bird as he has been 

reared, said the cuckoo, as she went into the nettle.] 

290. Gach eun mur oiltear e, a's an uiseag chun na mbna. [Every bird as he has been reared, 

and the lark to the moor.] 

Latin. Quo semel est imbuta recens servabit odorem 
Testa diu. 

291. Budh dual do laogh an fhiaidh, rith a bheith aige. [It is natural for the fawn of a deer to 

have flcetness.] 

292. An rud fhasas 's a g-cnaimh, ni feadar a dhibirt as a bh-febil. [The thing that grows in 

the bone is hard to drive out of the flesh.] 

Latin. Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurrat. Hoeat. 

293. Chan 'uil amadan air bith is mcasa na sean-amadan. [There is no fool worse than an old fool.] 

294. An te is mb f hosglas a bheul, 'se is lugha fhosglas a sporan. [The man that opens his mouth 

the most, opens his purse the least.] 

295. Da d-treabhadh se an tir, chaithfeadh se an rioghachda. [Though he would plough a whole 

country, he would spend a whole kingdom.] 
i.e., A hard worker, but as great a spender. 

296. 'Se an carr falamh is mb a ghni toran. [It is the empty car that makes the most noise.] 

297. 'Se an t-uisge ciuin is doimhne a rithcas. [It is the smooth water that flows the deepest."] 

Spanish. Del agua mansa me libre Dios, que de la recia me guardare yo. [From the smooth 
water, Lord deliver me; from the rough I shall guard myself,] 

298. Beul eidhnain, a's croidhe cuilinn. [A mouth of ivy, and a heart of holly.] 

299. Biann a donas a m-bun na stiocaireacht. [Bad luck attends stinginess.] 

300. An Laighneach laoigheach, [The Leinstcr-man is sprightly, 
An Mumhaineach spleaghach, The Hunster-man boastful, 

An Conachtach boul-bhinn, The Connaught-man sweet-tongued, 

'S an t-Ultach bcadaidh. And the Ulster-man impudent.] 

301. Tabhartus Hi-Neil], 's a dha shuil 'n a dheigh. [O'Neill's gift, and his two eyes looking 

after it.] 

.Said when any one unhandsomely reminds another of an obligation conferred by himself. 


302. Roinn muv do dhaoine, a's na fag thu fein falamh. [Share as your family do, so as not to 

leave yourself empty.] 

ie., Your people always took good care of themselves. 

303. Da g-cuirinn gruaig mo chinn faoi n-a chosa, cha sasochadh sc e. [If I were even to put 

the hair of my head under his feet, it would not satisfy him.] 

304. Is fiata feargach gach lag-neartmhar. [Every feeble man is irritable.] 

305. An te d'uaith an fheoil, oladh sc an brot. [Tie that has eaten the flesh-meat may drink the 

broth too.] 

Said -when the leavings of anything arc offered. 

306. An te a bhualadh mo mhadadh, bhualadh se me fein. [He that would beat my dog would 

beat myself.] 

Manners, Behaviour, Civility. 

307. Cha mhilleann deagh-ghlor fiacal. [A sweet voice does not injure the teeth.] 

French. Douces paroles n^corchentpas la langue. 

308. Chan fhaghann fear mogaidh modh. [A mocker is never respected.] 

309. Cuairt go h-anamh go tigh do eharaid, a's fanach gearr goirid ami. [Pay visits to your 

friend's house seldom, and stay but a short time there.] 

Spanish. A casa de tu tia, mas no cada dia. [Go to your aunt's house, but not every day.] 
and, El huespedy elpece a Ires dias hicde. [A guest and a fish stink on the third day.] 

310. Aidigheann a tosdach. [The silent man confesses.] 

311. Cha n-e an te 'chomhnuidheas a d-tigh gloine, is coir a cheud chloch a chaitheadh. [He 

that lives in a glass house is not the one who ought to throw the first stone.] 
Spanish. El que ticne tejado de vidrio, no tire piedras al de su vicino. [He whose house is 
tiled with glass must not throw stones at his neighbour's.] 

312. Thig se gan iarraidh mur thig a do-aimsir. [He comes like the bad weather, uninvited.] 

313. Na cuir do chorran a ngort gan iarraidh. [Do not bring your reaping-hook to a field without 

being asked.] 

314. Ta sneag an cheapairc nar uaith tu ort. [You have got the hiccup from bread and butter 

that you never ate.] 

i.e., You arc meddling with what does not concern you : or, you are taking offence at a 
thing not intended for you. 

315. Cha robh tu a namh gan Diarmaid agad. [You were never without Dei-mot along with you.] 

There is always something going astray with you. Also said to a person who has a habit 
of doing or saying a particular thing on all occasions. 
VOL. vi. 2l. 


316. Nu cuir do ghob a g-cuideachta gan iarraidh. [Never thrust your beak into company with- 

out invitation.] 

Spanish. A boda ni bautizado, no vayas sin ser llamado. [Do not go to a wedding nor a 
christening unless you are invited.] 

317. Cha d-tainig Tear an eadarsgain saor a riamh. [The intermeddler never came off safe.] 

318. An te is measa beairt a's beusa 

Is lia bheir to-bheum do gach aon neach ; 
Is leur do locht gach duine ann 'eudan 
'S ni leur do an lan-locht a n-damantar e fein thrid. 
[The man who himself is the worst in deeds and disposition, 
J s the very one who calumniates everybody ; 
He sees each man's fault plainly in his countenance, 
But he cannot perceive the greater fault that condemns himself.] 

319. A ghreideal a' tabbairt ton dubh air a b-pota. [The griddle calling the pot "black bottom."] 

320. Comhairle charaid gan a h-iarraidh, chan fhuair si a riamh an meas budh choir di. [A friend's 

advice not asked for, was never valued as it deserved.] 

Latin. Ad coyisilium ne accesseris anteqvam voceris. Scotch. Come na to the council unca'd. 

321. An te a bhios 'n a mhaighistcar, aithneochar e. [The man who is the master is (easily) 


Friendship, Choice of Companions. 

322. An te a luidheas leis na madraidh, eireochaidh se leis na dcarnadaidh. [He that lies down 

with the dogs will rise up with the fleas.] 

He that louche* pitch shall be defiled therewith. Ecclesiasticus. Evil communications corrupt 
good manners, St. Paul. 

323. Is maith an sgathan suil charad. [The eye of a friend is a good looking-glass.] 

324. A n-am na ciorra aithnighear an charaid. [In time of need the friend is known.] 

English. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Spanish. Amiga del buen tiempo, mudase con el 
.. [A friend in prosperity changes with the -wind.] and, Ahora que tengo oveja y borrego, 
todos me dicen en hora biiena es/cis Pedro. [Now that I have got a ewe and a lamb, everybody 
wishes me " Good day, Peter."] Latin. Amicus ccrtus in re incerta cernitur Cicero : and, 
Ubi opes, ibi amici. 

32.5. Bain le ruincin, a's bainidh an ruincin leat. [Meddle with the peevish man, and he will 

meddle with you.] 

32(5. Theid gach eun le n' alt fein. [Every bird goes along with its own flock;] and 

327. Eunlaith an aon cite a n-einfheacht ag citiollaigh. [Birds of one feather flying together.] 

Latin. Similis similem delectat Spanish. Cada oveja con suparija. 

. Hi ' . 

^ I'OMK , 



328. Bog a bodach a's bain beum as ; ol a gliloine a's bi roidb leis. [Humour the clown, and take 

your turn out of him; drink bis glass, and have done with him.] 

329. Cha robh caora chlamhach air a t-sreud a riamh, nar mhaith leithi comrada bheith aici. 

[There never was a scabby sheep in a flock that did not like to have a comrade.] 

330. Ni h-eblus gan iontuigheas. [There is no knowing a person without living in the same 

house with him.] 

Latin. Ilomini ne fidas, nisi cum quo modium salis absumpseris. 

331. ~Na treig do charaid air do chuid. [Do not desert your friend for your meat.] 

332. Bhearaidh aon mhadadh a mhain air mhadaidh an bhaile tafann. [A single dog will set all 

the, dogs in the village a-barking.] 

(To be continued.) 


By W. REEVES, D. D. 

The ecclesiastic whose memory is held in highest esteem in that part of the north-west of the 
county of Cork which forms the barony of Duhallow, is St. Beretchert of the Irish calendar, or St. 
Benjamin as he is vulgarly called in modern times. His festival is properly the 6th of December, 
at which day he is commemorated in the calendars of Marian Gorman and of Donegall as Beretchert 
Tulcha-leis, ' Beretchert of Tulach-leas.' He is not noticed in the more ancient calendar, called the 
Fcilire of JEngus the Culdee ; and the omission is an argument in favour of the early date of 
that remarkable poem, whose author is supposed to have flourished about the year 800 ; while the 
obit of the saint is assigned by the Four Masters to the year 839, in these words Berichtir Tul- 
cha-leis decc 6 December, 'Berichter of Tulach-leis died on the 6th of December.' This date, it' 
correct, will help to fix the age of St. Gerald of Mayo, who was his brother, but whose deatli is 
placed by the same annalists* at the year 726. According to the life of this saint, he, Balan, Beri- 
kert, Hubritan, and a sister Segresia, were the children of Cuspcrius, a Saxon prince, and Bernicia 
his wife. They are represented. as leaving England after the defeat of Colman, bishop of Lindisfame, 
at the synod of "Whitby, b and as coming over to Ireland with a great many followers. They first 
landed in Connaught, at the mouth of the Shannon ; afterwards they proceeded to the river Moy ; 
and finally obtained a settlement in Mayo, where they erected a new monastery, or extended the 
existing one. St. Gerald," though not the founder, became in time the patron saint of Mayo, which 

"They, as all winters since, seem to have mistaken Ulster, Colman (or Columbanus. as they call him) sailed 

the words of Tisjhernach at 732, and of the Annals of to Ireland in GG7, and died in G75. 

Ulster at 731, Pontifex Maigi Eu Saxonum Gamilt obiit- c His Life is given hy folffan. at his day, the 13th of 

See Reeves's Adamnan. p- liv. March. (Act !S.S. pp. G'cHt-GOG ) His a miserable compo- 

b Held in the year Got. According to the Annals of sition, full of anachronisms and blunders- 


was styled " Magheo- Saxonum of Gerald." d Balan, called Billon in the calendar of Marian Gor- 
man, was the founder and patron of Teach-Saxon, that is, ' House of Saxons/ a church giving 
name to the prebend of Taghsaxan, in the cathedral of Tuam, and now called Tcmplegal, in the 
parish of Athenry. 6 His day is the 3rd of September. Hubritan, or Uildbrit or Huiltbrith, as he 
is called in the calendars of Tallaght and Marian Gorman, was commemorated on the 24th of April. 
The name of the other brother, being a Saxon one, is variously written in Irish authorities. The 
calendars call it Beretchert ; St. Gerald's Life, Berikert ; the Four Masters, Berichtir ; and the 
inscription on his tombstone, Berechtuine. In a modern inscription at Tullylease, the name is 
written Berieheart, and in composition it appears in the form Kilberrihert, Kilberehert, pronounced 
Kilberrahurth.* The name seems allied to Beret, and Ecgberct, and Brechtrid of Annal. Ult. 697. 
The local tradition about him is that he came to Tullylease from Cullen, a parish lying south-west 
in the same barony, where he had been some time in the society of three sisters, one of whom was 
called Lassar, and another Ingen Buidhc. s The foundations of his house and church are shown 
there. Near the church is marked in the Ordnance Survey St. Laserian's Well, h and it is said 
that stations used to be held here on the 24th of July, although St. Lassar's day is entered in the 
calendar at the 23rd, instead of the 24th. In the adjoining parish of Kilmeen, is the townland of 
Killasseragh, called from the same saint. The story is that the brother and three sisters composed 
a little conventual society, and that in their nocturnal studies or devotions, when fire was wanted 
to kindle a light, St. Lassar used to go to a neighbouring forge, and bring home the "seeds of 
flame" in her apron. But at length, happening to require a new pair of shoes, she went to a shoe- 
maker, who did not disguise his admiration of the beauty of her foot, and thus ministered to her 
vanity, which being a sinful emotion, her apron lost its asbestic property, and the next time she 
went to carry embers, a hole was immediately burned therein. This was interpreted by St. 
Berecheart as a signal for his departure and greater seclusion ; so he proceeded on his way, and jour- 
neying to the north-east, he placed his abode at Tulach-Leas, ' the hill of the huts,' now known as 
Tullylease, a parish at the north-west border of the county of Cork and diocese of Cloyne.' The 
peasantry have a derivation for the name Berecheart, which is founded on a legend similar to that 
of St. Benen or Benignus of Armagh. They say that, on arriving at Tullylease, our Saint engaged 
in a public controversy with a druid who sought to hinder the conversion of the people; and it was 
finally agreed upon, that both should enter a hut built of inflammable materials, whereupon it was 

d His church was called Temjntll Garailt. See Petrie's h Lasre, Laisre, Laisren, Laisrean, Lasserian, Mo- 
Round Towers, p. 142. Laissi, are mere modifications of one name, which was a 

e Ord. Survey of Galway, sheet 95, north-east angle. male's; but Lassar is the female form. 

There is also a Tisuxon, near Kinsale, in the county of ' In the synod of Rathbreasal, which was the first 

Cork. attempt at defining the Irish bishopricks, Tulach-Leas 

1 For the places so called, see further on. was assumed as one of the southern boundaries of the 

s About six miles north of Tullylease, in the parish of diocese of Limerick : which it continues to be, its adjoin- 

Monagay, county of Limerick, is an ancient church, ing parish on the North being Killagholehane, in the 

called alter her, Teampoll Inghin Buidhe. diocese and county of Limerick. 


to be closed upon them and set on fire, and that the survivor of this ordeal should be considered 
the just claimant upon the popular regard. The legends of Benen and Berecheart thus coinciding, 
and furnishing a familiar etymology for the latter name, the real subject of the story seems, in 
later days, to have supplanted, or at least modified our saint's name; for, among the peasantry, and 
the crowds from all parts of Limerick and Cork who come annually to visit his "patron" he is 
known by no other name than St. Benjamin ! 

The legend of St. Benen, as given by Muirchu in the Booh of Armagh, will prepare the reader 
for the local tradition of St. Berecheart. " His autem omnibus in conspectu regis inter Magum 
Patriciumque ait rex, Illos libros vestros in aquam mittite, et ilium cujus libri inlessi evasserunt 
adorabimus. Respondit Patricius, Faciam ego ; et dixit Magus, Nolo ego ad judicium aquae venire 
cum isto ; aqua enim deum habet certe : audivit baptisma per aquam a Patricio datum. Et re- 
spondens rex ait, Permitte per ignem. Et ait Patricius, Prumptus sum ; at Magus nolens dixit, 
Hie homo versa vice in alternos annos nunc aquam nunc ignem deum veneratur. Et ait Sanctus, 
Non sic, sed tu ipse ibis, et unus ex meis pueris ibi tecum, in separatam et conclaussam domum, 
et meum erga te, et tuum erga me vestimentum, et sic simul incendemini. Et hoc consi- 
lium insedit, et aedificata est eis domus cujus dimedium ex materia viridi, et altcrum dime- 
dium ex arida facta est; et missus est Magus in illam domum in partem ejus viridem ; ct unus 
ex pueris sancti Patricii, Bineus nomine, cum veste magica, in partem domus. Conclussa itaque 
cxtrinsecus domus coram omni turba incensa est. Et factum est in ilia hora, orante Patricio, ut 
consumeret flamma ignis Magum cum demedia domu viridi, permanente cassula sancti Patricii 
tantum intacta, quam ignis non tetigit. Felix autem Benineus e contrario cum demedia domu arida, 
secundum quod de Tribus Pueris dictum est, non tetigit cum ignis, neque contristatus est, nee 
quicquam molcsti intulit, cassula tantum Magi qua) erga cum fuerat non sine Dei nutu exusta." k 
[But after the performance of all these things in the presence of the king, between the Druid and 
Patrick, the king said, Cast those books of yours into the fire, and him whose books shall escape 
uninjured, we will revere. Patrick answered, I will do so. But the Druid said, I am unwilling 
to enter into the trial by water with him; for the water is undoubtedly tenanted by a deity, (he 
had heard of baptism administered with water by Patrick.) Then the king answering said, Try it 
by fire. And Patrick said, I am ready. But the Druid was unwilling, and said, This man, every 
second year, turn about, worships either the water or the fire as a deity. And the saint said, It 
shall not be thus, but you yourself shall go, and one of my disciples with you, into a detached and 
closed-up house, with my garment on you, and your garment on him, and thus ye shall be both set 
on fire. And the proposal was agreed to, and a house was built for them, half of which was con- 
structed of wet material, and the other half of dry. And the Druid was placed in that part of the 

k Liber ArdmacliDe, folio 5 ba. The learned reader Tripartite Life of St. Patrick, lib- Leap. G5. (Culgan 
will observe in this extract the peculiar orthography of Trias Thaum. p. 1-7 (>) 
the Irish scribe. See also the same in substance in the 


house which was moist, and one of the disciples of Saint Patrick, named Bineus, having on the 
Druid's garment, in the other part. The house was then secured outside, and set on fire in the 
presence of the whole multitude. And it came to pass, in the self-same hour, through the prayer 
of Patrick, that the flame of fire consumed the Druid with the moist half of the house, Saint Pat- 
rick's cowl alone remaining intact, for the fire did not affect it. Put Benineus, an the other hand, 
came off sale, with the dry half of the house, according to what is written of the Three Holy 
Children. The fire did not touch him, neither was he hurt, nor did he feel any unpleasantness ; 
only the cowl of the Druid, which had been on him, was, by the will of God, burnt up.] 

This is a very ancient legend ; its writer flourished about the year 700, and it is in a book which 
was written before the year 807. 

St. Berecheart's counterpart is as follows : 

As cruadh an cunradh ar a rcithiodar : 

Duine o'n n-duine do chur ann ein-tigh ; 

Dlia cheann an tighe lasadh ann ein-fheacht : 

y Sa te nach doithfidhe da JDhia-san geilleadh. 

Veagla gcasa do Iheith 'nna c-cuid eadaigh, 

Seansalaid brait re na clieile : 

Doitheadh an Draoi, 'snior dhearg air Bheinin : 

Is ann sin do tugadli breith cheart naemtha. , 

Hard was the test on which they settled : 

A person from [each] person to put into one house ; 

Both ends of the house to set on fire at the same instant, 

And he who was not burned, his God they were to worship. 

Lest charms should be in their clothes, 

They exchanged garments with each other ; 

Burned was the Druid, and it lighted not over Benin : 

And then was given a judgment, righteous, holy. 1 

On this story, probably, is built the vulgar belief, that stones picked out of the wall of what is 
called the 'Saint's House' possess the virtue of securing the bearer against fire and storm; and as a 
natural consequence, the little structure has nearly disappeared, for there is scarcely a cabin in the 

'The^e lines are given in John O'Connell's poem on The Druid was burned, and not a spot "was reddened on 
the antiquities of Ireland, lately reprinted by Martin him. 

A. O'Brennan, pp. lis ll'J. According to the etymolosj 
contained in the last line, Berecheart is quasi Breith- 
(heart, "righteous judgment." Locally the derivation i; 
thus given : 

Do doighheadh on Draoi, agusnior dheargaidh beim air, 
A's is as snn do tugadh air Bcir a'chenrt naomtha 

in mm. 

sy And hence he was called Bcir-a-cheart (i.e. Carry-the- 
th- right. 

,i is Or, in metre lie was not burnt, 
thus given : But the Druid was, quite; 

And hence he was term'd 
St. Carry-the-right. 


neighbourhood into the walls of which a stone from the sacred edifice has not been built as a reli- 
gious 'policy of insurance' against fire ; and no emigrant thinks of leaving the country for a distant 
region without first providing himself with St. Bcrechert's life-preserver ! 

Every male child who is born on St. Bcrechert's day is called by his name, which is regarded as 
the Irish for Benjamin ! But the Saint's day has been unaccountably transferred from the 6th of 
December to the 18th of February." 1 It could not have been owing to the employment of St. 
Benen's day, as of his legend, for his festival falls on the 9th of Xovembcr. 

The other places where St. Bcrechert's name is preserved are the following : 

I. KiLBEEnraEKT, a townland in Knocktcmple, the parish adjoining Tullylease on the south- 
east, also in the barony of Dubalkrw. The name signifies 'Bcrechert's church,' but there are no 
vestiges of such now remaining." 

II. Kilberriuert, a townland in the parish of AghabuUoge, barony of Muskerry East, situate 
to the south of the last. In the Ordnance map " Kilberrihert burying-ground " is marked in the 
demesne a little south of Kilberrihert House, and west of the Roman Catholic chapel. This old 
cemetery is now only used for the interment of unbaptized children. It contains no ruins or 
monumental stones. In another direction there is a holy well, which the peasantry call Tubber 
Berrihert, and sometimes St. Bernard's Well. St. 01an p is the patron of the parish church. 

III. Kiebeechert, a townland in the parish of Ballincuslane, where the barony of Trughanacmy 
adjoins that of Duhallow in the county of Cork. 

All these, however, were but inconsiderable stations in comparison with Tullylease, which was 
the principal church of the saint. O'Brien, in his Irish dictionary, calls it "St. Brendan's church 
of Tullaleis."' 1 But this is clearly another alias for Berechcrt, like the Benjamin and Bernard already 
mentioned. He is correct, however, in stating that the "O'Xunans were hereditary wardens or protec- 
tors of the church of Tullaleis in the county of Cork, and proprietors of the lands of Tullaleis and 
Castle-Lysin, under obligation of repairs and all other expenses attending the divine service of that 
church, to which these lands had originally been given as an allodial endowment by its founder." 
These lands, now the two townlands of Tullylease and Castlclishen ( 'Caixlen-a-li*htnJ,' have become 
secularised, and are held, the former by the llev. Crosbie Morgan, and the latter by John Gibbing?, 
Esq. and Sir J. Fitzgerald. But the Xoonans, though they have ceased to be proprietors, are still 
numerous in the parish, and claim the chancel of the old church as their burying-ground; and one 
of the family still prides himself on possessing the guardianship of the edifice. Another Noonan, 

m On this <lay multitudes of people assemble from all Or Inance Survey, Cork sheet fA 

parts of the counties of Cork and Limerick, at the St.a- >' This name seems to be / u-l-'nnimn. In that parish 

tinn : and Mass used formerly to be celebrated on the of t'ullen which is in kinelea, are Tu'ir I a t'hhnnn, and 

occasion, but it has been discontinued There is n > ll-n ' i / iit/i. 

memory of any other day for the saint's fe.-tival, and N"te ii on I. p. f'-J '. ed. Dublin, 1SS2. 

the change- must be ft very remote one. r 'l he townland of Cast'.eishen is in the adjoining 

"Ordnance Survey. Cork, sheet to. parish of Kilbolane 

2 72 

seeing a clergyman of the neighbourhood searching in the chancel for a piece of St. Berechert's 
tombstone, sent him word that if he disturbed his father's grave, he would shoot him ! And there 
was a time when this preliminary message would have been dispensed with. But the name Noonan 
is a strange corruption from TJa Inmainen, its ancient and correct form. Of this we have proof in 
an interesting notice of Tullylease preserved in the Annals of Inisfallen, in which, at the year 
1042, is recorded Dunadach hua Inmaineain airchinneach Tulcha-leis quievit, "Dunadhach O'ln- 
mainen, herenach of Tulach-leis, rested:' 8 a curious process TJa Inmainen becoming Noonan ! 
This is the only notice of Tullylease which the writer of this paper has been able to discover in the 
Irish annals, besides the obit of St. Berichter in the Pour Masters : for it is a mistake to suppose 
that the entry in these annals at 804, where it is related that " Dunchu, abbot of Tulach-lias was 
slain," has reference to this church, as the learned editor supposed. 1 The sequel, "the plundering 
of VI id i a by Aedh fOirdnidhe, the king, in revenge for the profanation of the shrine of Patrick, 
against Dunchu" shows that the county of Down was the scene of the transaction, and points to 
Tullylish, a parish in the diocese of Dromore, the Tulach-lis in TJi JEachach, ' Tullylish in Iveagh,' 
of the calendars at the 12th of May, where a reliquary called the shrine of Patrick seems to have 
been preserved. 

According to Ware," a priory of Regular Canons of St. Augustin was founded here, at an unknown 
date, by Matthew Fitz Griffin ; but it seems to have existed as such only for a short period, having 
been annexed to the great priory of Kells in Ossory before the fifteenth century; for in 1412, Henry 
the IYth confirmed the possessions of that house, and among them the " Ecclesia de Tyllaghlesche 
et terra sanctuarire." v The rectorial tithes are now impropriate. The benefice is a vicarage in the 
diocese of Cloyne, and in the patronage of the bishop. 

The old church, which stands in the parish church-yard, is in ruins. It consisted of a nave and 
chancel, the former 51 feet 8 inches by 30 feet wide, the latter 35 feet 4 inches by 23 feet. A 
window in the south side of chancel, and door-ways on the same side of chancel and nave, indicate 
the 1 3th century as the date of the building. At the western extremity of the nave, there are 
evidences of a habitation having been attached to the church, in the form of a loft or upper room. 
The door was on the south side, about two-thirds of the way towards the west angle. Prom this 
door to the angle there arc putlock-holes in the north and south walls where the joists formerly 
rested ; and on the south side are the remains of the window which lit the chamber, high up above 
the other windows of the building. Leaning against the inside of the east wall, at the north side 
of where the altar stood, is the sculptured slab which is represented in the illustration that accom- 
panies this paper. The old people of the neighbourhood believe it to have been the shelf of the 

* O'Conor, Rev. Hib. Script, vol. ii., part ii., p. 71. In * O'Donovan's Four Masters, p. 414 b, note c . 

the Pipa Colmani, or Pipe Roll of Cloyne, the tenant is " Works, Harris's ed- vol. ii. p. 26b' ; Arcbdall, Monas- 

Ciilled Donold O Ilenwonhan, which is evidently a form ticon, pp. 80, o(]5. 

of Inmainen. > Calend. Rot, Cancellar. Hib. p. 199 b, n 53. 


ancient altar; but this is clearly an error. For, though more decorated than the generality of ancient 
Irish tomb-stones, its monumental character cannot be mistaken. It is a plain flag of sandstone, 
measuring three feet in length, and two feet in breadth. It is elaborately finished, and the edges 
well defined. Unfortunately, the upper corner at the right side has been broken off, and though 
the most careful search was made for it by the accomplished and zealous curate of the parish, 
it could not be found, and the only result was the discovery of some fragments of stone, 
having circular patterns of very great age, similar to those in the angles of the slab. There can be 
no doubt that it contained the letters ins Jesus, as a counterpart to xrs Christus, which occupies 
the other angle. The legend below is in a rude form of Irish letter qui cem ql\e hukc titulem 
legerit orat pro berechtuine. The use of qua for que, and orat for oret, is agreeable to the 
barbarous orthography found in Hiberno-Latin records, where the vowels are written according to 
their value in the native pronunciation. w Of the form orat we have an appropriate example in the 
colophon of an ancient MS. of the Irish school ; and it may be remarked here, that the present 
legend possesses more of the style of a scribe's subscription to a book, than of the monumental 
formulas in use among the Irish. The colophon to the gospels of Mac Itcgol is Quicumque legerit 
et intellegerct istam narrationem orat pro Mae Reguil scriptoria The form of the saint's name, 
Berechtuine, is peculiar, and is probably the result of unskilful carving. It might easily, in the 
hands of an ignorant stone-cutter, arise out of the correct form, as may be judged by the juxtaposi- 
tion of the words in Irish character, 

A rough drawing on stone of this monument was printed, for private circulation, in 1851, by 
Mr. John Windele, on a single sheet of letter paper ; who, in the November of that year, kindly 
sent a copy to the present writer ; and he having occasion to visit his birth-place, Charleville, in 
1853, took an opportunity of going over to Tullylease to examine this interesting stone. He made 
a careful rubbing of it on the occasion, and having afterwards put it in the hands of his valued 
friend, J. Huband Smith, Esq. obtained a positive drawing, from which the accompanying lithograph 
has been reduced, with a considerable amount of artistic skill. Prom it the reader will be able to 
form a very good idea of this remarkable stone, which, though probably not so old as some of those 
represented in Dr. Petrie's Hound Towers, is more ornate, and more historically interesting. 

w Thus in the I5ook of Armagh we find a-Jo, wcjissent, * O'Conor, For Ilih. SS. vol. i., Epist. Nuncup. page 

wpiscopus, avangueliam. And in the Reiehenau MS. of cexxx. 
Adanman, difficillinw. See Heeve's Adaninan, pp- xvi., 

VOL. vi. 2 m 


Leaning against the same wall, in the middle, is another slab, on which is a coffin-shaped frame 
in relief, inside which stands out a figure of a man having a curled head of hair, a swallow-tailed 
dress coat, breeches, and boots, under which is engraved in modern letters, 

Bericheart 7 

The face is perfectly flat, 1 from the repeated osculation* it has undergone by the mouths of pilgrims 
and devotees ; and thus serves as an index of the amount of veneration which is rendered to the 
saint, for the stone is hard and close-grained, and is not more than twenty years in its present 
position, the figure having been made by a stone-cutter of Charleville, about twenty years ago. 

The church-yard, it should be observed, is situate at an angle of the road, on its east side. In a 
field at the opposite side, about 100 yards distant on the north-west, is the Tobar Berecheart, or 
' Well of Bercchcrt,' having an old thorn-tree overhanging, covered with votive rags. This well is 
supposed to possess great virtues in curing diseases, and all around it are little crocks of ablutions, 
and other indications of pharmaceutical appliances. The writer visited the place on a broiling hot 
day, and being very thirsty, was about to drink from the well, when he received the timely hint 
that there was scarcely a disease, from itch to cancer, which had not its deposits in the pool. Close 
to the margin of the well, on the south side, are the traces of a small angular building, standing east 
and west, measuring aboiit 28 by 1 8 feet in the clear. This is what is called Tigli Berecheart, or 'The 
Saint's House :' from its walls all the charmed stones have been supplied, and from its foundation 
grows the ancient thorn which overhangs the well. On the same, side of the road as the church, 
and about 120 yards north, is the Tobar Muire, 'Mary's Well,' where the people go their rounds 
before visiting St. Bcrechert's well. It is cased inside with blocks of oak, about three feet deep, 
rudely squared ; and it is believed to have been formerly lined with lead. This well is called by 
the common people, Poll-a-mheir, i.e. ' the pool of the finger,' and it gives the name of Poulavare 
to the townland in which it is situate. The name is accounted for by the story that a certain sacri- 
legious person, having stolen the sheeting of lead which lined the well, was punished by the 
saint, who caused his finger to drop off into the water ! 

In a field lying to the south-west of the church, is a rude stone called Clock na h-eilite, ' the 
hind's stone.' It has a basin-shaped cavity, with a small hole passing through underneath. There 
is a legend that a deer used to fill the cavity every morning with milk for the use of the workmen 
employed in building the church, but being watched by some inquisitive person, she kicked the 
hole in the vessel, and left the workmen to drink for the future out of the holy well. 

>' To add a new alias for Bericheart, we may quote the a An intelligent friend told me of a piece of carved 

solemn account of this stone in Lewis's Topogr. Diet, stone in a church-yard, in the county of Limerick, which 

where it is described as " a stone effigy, supposed to be was regarded with profound veneration by the_ peasan- 

that of St. Barnabas, the patron saint ! ! try. Seeing a woman kissing it on her knees with great 

z What the Irish used to style Clairineach, "tabulata fervour, he examined it on tier departure, and found it 

facies. ' to be a fragment of the monumental escutcheon of the 

family of Smith ! ! 


A few yards from the burial-ground stood, in former times, a building called the Comharbach, i.e. 
' belonging to the Coarb,' the trace of which is discernible, but only that, for the stones of the walls 
were removed some time ago by the present occupant of the land. It was probably the abode of 
the Coarb, or hereditary tenant of the church property, who was generally a cleric of some order. 

All these religious spots seem to have been originally on glebe-land (though it is now alienated), 
and to have been enclosed by a circular fence, having the church nearly as centre. Tradition 
represents it as about 18 acres in extent ; but the Down Survey (JSo. 26 B.M. of the county of 
Cork, Record Office, Custom House, Dublin,) sets it out as 15 acres, 2 roods. The outline of 
nearly half the circle has been lately traced, and in some places the rampart is nearly perfect . 

[For many of the foregoing particulars, tho writer is indebted to the Rev. Thomas Olden, curate 
of Tullylease, through whose exertions, and partly on whose pecuniary responsibility, a new parish 
church, at a cost of 640, has been lately built in Tullylease.] 



The Tumulus kear Carrickfergus. The 
present brief communication has reference to the 
account of the Bellahill tumulus which appeared 
in the last number of this Journal [p. 169.] I 
am not qualified to discuss the subject as an an- 
tiquarian, but I think that, the conclusions 
given, as founded on Geological and Natural- 
Historical data, should not be allowed to pass 
without remark. 

It appears that the form of the tumulus was 
somewhat different from the ordinary outline of 
such mounds, "being more flattened and less 
elevated;" the writer seems to have considered 
it necessary to attempt some explanation of this. 
Supposing that man had never meddled with 
the mound, and superstitious feelings might 
have prevented this, its great age and its exposure 
to the war of the elements for centuries would 
likely give rise to its partial abrasion, just as 
rocks and eminences crumble down and become 
' weathered.' 

Mr. Grattan (of Belfast) first directed atten- 
tion to the nature of some of the material dug 
from the foundation of the tumulus ; having re- 
cognised it as one of those deposits called "fossil 
earths," now known to be of very general oc- 
currence. In company with James Mac Adam, 
Esq., F.G.S., I visited the locality, and con- 
jointly we furnished Mr. Lee with a few notes 
on the geology of the district, and a list of the 
Mollusca found among the fossil earth. 

Respecting the shape of the tumulus, Mr. 

Lee says: "This may be accounted for by 
the continued action of the waters of the lake, 
which probably surrounded it for centuries ; the 
former existence of which is proved, not only by 
the geological formation of the locality, but by 
the remains of fresh- water shells and lake Infu- 
soria found in the substratum on which the tu- 
mulus stands." 

Respecting this inference, I would remark 
that it is totally at variance with the facts. It 
is obvious that such a structure could not have 
existed for any length of time, exposed to the 
action of water more or less liable to agitation 
by winds and floods. But supposing the tumu- 
lus capable of resisting the action of water for 
"centuries," how could peat be found beneath 
it, and how could the siliceous Infusoria have 
lived and propagated in the very heart of it, and 
much less the fresh-water Mollusca ? It is ob- 
vious, moreover, that the shells of the terrestrial 
Mollusca, accidentally mixed, could not possibly 
have been driven into such a position as the 
base or foundation of a heap of mould, 7 feet 
in height and 45 in diameter. My friend Mr. 
James Mac Adam and I never doubted that this 
sepulchral mound had been raised, long after 
the lake had been drained. Mr. Lee states that 
" the character of the remains discovered in this 
tumulus incline us to fix the date of its forma- 
tion anterior to the Christian era." Long pre- 
vious to this epoch, the waters had disappeared, 
and the physical condition of the place had been 


completely altered. There is no reason to con- 
clude that, since the uprearing of this rude 
monument, at a time when the level of the field 
was accessible, there had been two such impor- 
tant changes as -would be implied by the forma- 
tion of a lake upwards of 7 feet in depth, and of 
considerable size, and the subsequent drainage 
of the same. 

In contrast with the preceding observations, 
I may embrace this opportunity of introducing 
a case in which antiquarian researches have 
aided in elucidating the former geological con- 
ditions and relations of a locality. 

On the E. coast of Scotland, in the county of 
Kincardine, and near the famed ruins of Dun- 
noton Castle, there exists an isolated pinnacle 
or islet called "Dinnacare," composed of con- 
glomerate rock ; it is 100 to 120 feet in eleva- 
tion, 200 in length, and 30 to 40 wide; its sides 

are perpendicidar and partly overhanging, so 
that the top is accessible only by the most ex- 
perienced cragsman. 

At a recent meeting of the Scottish Society 
of Antiquaries, A. Thomson, Esq., of Banchory, 
described several stones with figures represent- 
ing a fish and triangle, &c; they were found in 
a low wall, bounding part of the top of " Din- 
nacare." The nature of the locality where 
these stones occurred induced Mr. Thomson to 
believe that it had not always been an islet, but 
at some previous period a part of the main-land. 
From the accompanying rough sketch it will be 
seen that the pinnacle is one of a series, some of 
which are covered by the sea, which were once 
part of the coast line ; and that a time was when 
" Dinnacare" must have been a projecting head- 
land. G. Dickie. 

Queen's College, Belfsnt. 

S/TY Of 0//V/V/fC*# 

Historic Parallels. In the historic ro- from the combat, viz., that of fettering them ttco 

mauce of the Batik of Magh Math, (published and two. The Editor Dr. O'Donovan} remarks 

in 1842 by the Irish Archaeological Society,; one in a note to this passage, that he is not ac- 

of the generals is described as adopting a singu- quuinted with any parallel ease in history. 1 

lar expedient to prevent his soldiers from living can furnish him with one. When the decisive 


battle took place between the Cimbri and the 
Roman army under Marius (the conqueror of 
Jugurtha), which freed Rome from a barbaric 
conquest, we are told that the front rank of the 
Cimbric army were linked together by chains, in 
order to prevent their being dispersed. This 
very precaution was one cause of their destruc- 
tion ; as they were thereby entangled and 
thrown into confusion on the attack of the Ro- 

The same battle furnishes another incident 
exactly parallel with one which occurred in 
another celebrated Irish engagement. The Ro- 
man general took up his positio n in such a man- 
ner that the sun should shine full in the faces 
of his enemy; a manoeuvre which contributed 
greatly to his victory. At the battle of Ben- 
burb, in 1646, the Irish general, Owen Roe 
O'Neill, adopted precisely the same tactics with 
the army of Alunro, and with equal success. 

Name of Towxlaxds. If any one should set 
about acting on the suggestion of Lord Gosford, 
[vol. 6, p. 185,] respecting the Irish etymolo- 
gies of the names of townlands, he ought to be 
very careful to ascertain what were the real an- 
cient names. A constant process of changing 
and corrupting such names is going on, (at least 
in this part of Ireland,) and the existing forms 
would often be deceptive. For example, in the 
county Tyrone, Clonoe is popularly altered into 
Glenoe or Glanoe ; Desertcreat is the present 
form of what originally was Disirt-da-chrioch ; 
Tally hog has long superseded Tullaghogue; Ough- 
tcrard is barbarously pronounced Waterard - 
Kilyo niragvsl turned into Tullygarvan; Mallagh; 

shantullagh into Mullagh-and-Tullagh. A town- 
land now called Innevall is so named from a 
sentence in the grant of land in which occurs 
the phrase "in Avail;" the latter having been 
the original name. Near Armagh, Bally-na- 
howen-more has very recently been changed into 
Ballynahone-more, which would probably puzzle 
an etymologist. The Ordnance maps generally 
give the correct forms of these local names, but 
not always. T. H. P. 

Bye-Law. [Notes and Queries, vol. 6, p. 
185.] The derivation of this word given by 
H. P. is probably correct. But I doubt we can- 
not account in the same way for " by-icord" 
"by-path," and " by the bye." The expression 
" Good-bye" is understood to be an abbreviation 
for " God be with ye." CuEiosrs. 

Ieish Surxames, The importance of con- 
sidering the origin of surnames in Ireland is 
manifest from its bearing on local Ethnology. 
The attempt to determine what race any family 
belongs to, by merely judging from their present 
name, can be shown to be very rash; by point- 
ing out in how many cases Irish names have 
been dropped, assumed, altered, or translated. 
In this way, many seemingly English names 
belong to old Irish families, and vice versa. 
Even of very late years, persons of the lower 
orders have often assumed high English names, 
bearing, perhaps, some remote resemblance to 
their own original patronymics. Thus, in the 
county Tyrone, M'Slcinador (a Scotch name) is 
frequently changed to STciffington. Some of the 
other alterations are almost as outrageous, such 
as M c Guiggan to Goodwin; in the South of Ire- 
land, Uoulahan to Holland. As examples of 


translation, I may specify M c Aree translated 
into King, and M c Rory into Rogers; and in the 
opposite direction Kingsborough has heen turned 
into Kinnybroclc, M c Rherson into Faivson, and 
Falhner into Fohart and Fogarty. The people 
do not know how to spell or pronounce their 
own names ; and hence it is not uncommon to 
find different members of the same household 
varying from each other. Thus, Mac Adam is 
often spelled 3I c Caddam; Herd, Hird, Hard, 
and Shepherd, appear in the same family ; and, 
in like manner, Stephenson, Stevens, and S teen- 
son ; Hogsett, Hogshead, and Hawkshaw ; and 
even ITampson, Hampsie, and Hampshire. Ar- 
buthnot is turned into Arlutton and Button ; 
and Adair has been metamorphosed into O'Dair. 
A tenant of mine calls himself Haydn, though I 
believe his real name to be Hagan, but I never 
could ascertain which was right. The Irish 
prefix Mac is of course altogether dropped in 
many instances; but it is sometimes absorbed 
into the following word, as in Mateer for M z Tear, 
Maneece, for M'Neese : and it sometimes takes 
an additional a, as in Mac-a-Tear, Mac-a- 
JSfalhj. Another fruitful source of new names, 
destined hereafter to puzzle genealogists, is the 
christening of foundlings. I have known a 
clergyman call one, George Canning, another, 
Arthur Wellcslcy, and a third, Robert Reel. 

T. H. P. 
Submerged Castle vs Poet Lorcn. In the 
last number of the Journal (p. 108), an account 
is given of an artificial island and castle, dis- 
covered on lowering a lake by draining, with 
some speculations as to its probable date. The 
following remarks on the same subject appeared 
in Otway's Sketches in Frris and Tyraxdey, pub- 

lished in 1845, and are worth noting at present, 
as the author was led to form the opinion that 
these remains existed previous to the formation 
of the lake itself. " Some years ago, in going 
from Deny to Eamelton, across the southern 
end of the peninsula formed by Loughs Foyle 
and SAvilly, near Castle Forward, I saw a lake 
reduced by many feet from its ancient level, by 
means of a cut through the side of a hill not 
through a bog or morass, but through a gravel 
hill and in the centre of that lake there ap- 
peared, for the first time, an island with a small 
castle erected on it. That castle must have been 
in existence previous to the sinking of the sur- 
face by which the lake was formed. I mention 
this circumstance as proving that men were in 
Ireland before the lake was formed ; leaving out 
of consideration the numberless instances I have 
witnessed of oak trees (trees which, in no case, 
are known to grow in flooded places) being found 
with their roots planted and their stems lying 
at the bottom of lakes and tide-waters in Ire- 
land." Ersneus. 

Steikixg a Bargain [I\ T otes and Queries, v. 
6, p. 189]. Sexex refers to the probable deri- 
vation of the Latin polliceo, from pollex, the 
thumb. That some such custom as he alludes 
to existed in Scotland (and perhaps still exists), 
would appear from one of the old nursery-stories 
given by Chambers in his Popular Rhymes of 
Scotland (p. 222), in which the following ex- 
pression occurs : " Let us icat thooms [wet 
thumbs] on that bargain." Tins reminds one of 
the custom in our Irish fairs of spitting on a coin, 
and then striking it on the other person's palm 
by way making or accepting an oit'er. 



Inauguration of Chiefs. The inaugurating- 
place of the Mac burroughs, Knock-an-bhogha 
(referred to dubiously in vol. 5, p. 231), I would 
suggest may be found in the townland of Tin- 
curry, parish of Ferns, county Wexford ; where 
formerly existed several ancient forts, one of 
which, in particular, was commonly known as 
"the big house in the bog," from its situation. 

F. N. L. 

Bawns. The article on Bawns, in the last 
number of the Journal, suggests the question 
whether these buildings, the erection of which 
was prescribed to the colonists as one of the con- 
ditions of their settlement in Ulster, were pre- 
viously known in England. So far as I am 
aware, no similar buildings were in use either 
in England or Wales ; and my opinion is, that 
Bawns were not an English fashion introduced 
into Ireland, but an improvement on the old 
Irish method of securing cattle. The name, as 
Dr. O'Donovan suggests [p. 133], maybe Irish; 
but I may mention that, in some parts of Eng- 
land, the straw-yard where farmers keep their 
cattle during the winter is called the barton. 
What in Scotland and Ulster is called a byre, is 
in England called a barn : that is, the house for 
receiving the grain is called simply " the barn," 
and the cow-house is called "the cow -barn ;" 
but when cows alone are kept, the place is 
termed a " bam." Farmers, too, sell milk by a 
peculiar measure called the "barn gallon," which 
is, I believe, about a third larger than the "im- 
perial" gallon. Now, as the letters r and w, 
both in very vulgar and very fashionable Eng- 
lish, are pronounced alike, we have barn and 
baxvn identified at once. But here is my milk- 
man at the gate ; I shall ask him. " llilk-man, 

where do you keep your cows this weather?" 
"Kyows, measter?" (rather surprised at the 
question,) " whoy, in the baton, to be zure !" 
However, it is by no means improbable that 
the bawn may have been introduced by the 
Scandinavians into Ireland ; for I have no 
grounds for believing that the Irish erected any 
buildings previous to the invasions of the North- 
men. Their stone edifices up to that time were 
ecclesiastical, and probably erected by foreign 
builders. An Irishman in England. 

It is curious that, in Ireland, the common 
little lizard, or newt, gets the discredit of 
slipping down the throat of any person whom 
it finds lying asleep on the grass. It is said to 
multiply in the stomach, and only to be got rid 
of by making the patient eat a quantity of very 
salt meat, and then lie dowoi near w r ater, so that 
the reptiles may be forced by thirst to come out 
for a drink ! Yet, incongruously enough, the 
creature has received the name of the "man- 
keeper." This absurd fable has been curiously 
altered from one told in other countries regarding 
makes, which are said to do precisely what the 
lizard is believed to do here. But there they 
add, that the sleeper is often warned of his 
danger by the lizard, which awakens him before 
the snake can glide into his mouth. This 
accounts for the name "man-keeper," as applied 
to the former. But as no snake existed in Ire- 
land, the ignorant transferred the whole fabri- 
cation to the poor harmless lizard, though still 
applying to him the name derived from the 
original story. See Erasmus, Dialog. Be Ami- 
citia : "Hoc animal natura homini amicum 
est, et serpentibus inimicum." 



Is Mr. Ho be serious in writing [vol. 6, p. 161] 
that Ireland "is deficient in the deep soil .... 
indispensable to a luxuriant growth of trees?" 
How will he account for the enormous trunks 

often found in our hogs ; or for the vast quantity 
of building timber formerly exported to Eng- 
land, and used there in some of the most famous 
buildings? T. H. P. 


Fkogs. [Queries, vol. 6, p. 190] The exist- 
ence of an Irish name for frogs would no more 
prove that those animals were indigenous, than 
in the case of lions, serpents, elephants, or uni- 
corns. T. H. P. 

Mead. [Queries, vol. vi., p. 190]. In reply 
to the query of a correspondent respecting mead, 
I send a receipt for making it, which is upwards 
of fifty years old. At that time it was still in 
use, and much esteemed; and it may again come 
into use, for its flavour maybe greatly improved 
by mixing with an equal proportion of Sherry, 
or even Cape wine. I copy the receipt ver- 
batim : 

"Three pounds of honey to each gallon of 
wafer. "When boiling, let it boil for half an 
hour, scumming well. Pour into a tub when 
nearly cold. Add two table-spoonfuls of good 
yeast for every ten gallons of the liquor. Let it 
work well for a month, keeping it always well 
scummed: then add one quart of whiskey for 
every ten galLns of mead. Bung up close : in 
six months fit for use. To be bottled." 

I have seen it made when a child, and, as well 
as I can recollect, there must have been much 
more of it made at a time than ten gallons; for 
the liquor, after being mixed with the yeast, 
was poured into a cask. The scum flowed out 

VOL. VI. - u 

at the bung-hole, which was left open for a cer- 
tain time, and the cask kept regularly filled up 
with some overplus liquid, which was kept in 
an open vessel. X. Y. Z. 

Iaisn Pearls. [Xotes and Queries, vol. 5, p. 
2.36.] Tn corroboration of the account given of a 
pearl fishery in the river Bann, I send you a 
drawing of a pearl muscle found lately in that 
river, near the town of Banbridgc. Several other 
specimens have been seen. Pi. L. 

[The shell is the Uiu'o Margaritifera, formerly 
called the Mya Margaritifera. Edit.] 

Tory. [Queries, vol. 6, p. 190.] The deri- 
vation of this word has been much disputed. 
Webster, in his English Dictionary, one of the 
latest authorities, derives it from the Irish word, 
tor, a bush, as the Irish banditti lived in the 
woods; as much as to say '' bushmen." Borrow, 
(author of the Bible in Spain, and a good phil- 
ologist,) says in a communication to an English 
periodical, "the word Tory may be traced to 
the Irish adherents of Charles the Second, 
during the Cromwellian era : the Irish words, 
" Tut a ri," pronounced nearly Tory,^ and sig- 
nifying " Come King," having been so con- 
stantly in the mouths of the Royalists as to have 
become a bv-word for designating them." 




I have seen it stated (but cannot refer to my 
authority) that Margery Bisset, by whose mar- 
riage with one of the Mac Donnclls the Bisset 
family claimed the Glens of Antrim as their in- 
heritance, was of Greek descent by her mother. 
I should feel obliged to any correspondent of the 
Journal who could refer me to the authority for 
this. Senex. 

About a mile and a half to the north-west of 
Richhill station, on the Ulster Railway, stands 
an old ruin, called Rohan castle. It appears to 
have been a place of some strength, and is said 
to have belonged to one of the O'Xcills. Do 
any of your readers know any thing of its his- 
tory ? J. K. 

The peasantry in the county Armagh have a 
curious saying which they sometimes use when 
threatening each other : "If you do, by Japers, 
I'll give you Torlogh Hogg's pay : and that 
means more kicks than ha'pence." Is the origin 
of this saying known ? J. IL 

Ulster Provincialisms. What is the origin 
of the word " beddy," popularly used in this 
province for "saucy" or " self-sufficient '?" Is 
there any authority in old English books for the 
popular acceptation of the verb " to demean," 
viz., "to debase," or "lower?" T. H. P. 

It is common in Ulster to use the word " Choo, 
C/ioo," to a dog, when we wish to drive him away. 
This is unknown in other parts of Ireland. May 
it not be borrowed from the Spanish, and per- 

haps have been imported with the pointer dog, 
to which the Spaniards use the cry "To." In 
Don Quixote (part 2, chap. 33) Sancho says : 
" Soy perro viejo, y entiendo todos tus tus." 


"What is the origin of the strange expression 
often heard in Ulster, " from JT to one," sig- 
nifying "from end to end?" 

Do any records exist of the Governor and Com- 
pany who first established the cambric manufac- 
ture at Dundalk? Does any account remain of the 
French settlement there? or are there any entries 
relating to the cambric manufacture in the cor- 
poration records of that town ? Is the name of 
the French pastor of the Dundalk settlement 
known ? Is it now known where the ten acres, 
given to the colonists by Lord Clanbrassil, were 
situated? Any information on the above will 
much oblige, CD. Plrdox. 


Surnames. The following three pairs of sur- 
names are found in Belfast or its neighbourhood. 
I give them in pairs, because they begin with 
the same syllable, namely 

Forcade, Miskelly, Carmichacl, 

Forsythe, Miscampbell, Carruthers. 
jSTow, I beg to ask an explanation of these ini- 
tial syllables, and also some information as to 
the origin of the names themselves. I think 
they arc not Irish, nor English. Some of them 
may be Scotch, but certainly not all. C. C. C. 



TTsqttebattgh is a compound term, from the first part of which our modern word, whiskey, has its 
origin. The public, not always correct in its judgments, has given Ireland the credit, or the dis- 
credit, as the case may be, of being at present, and of having been from time immemorial, a country 
famous for the production and consumption of this subtle fluid. The social questions connected 
with the latter point, as bearing upon the condition of the people, occupy the pages of publications 
of a special class, and exercise the lungs of orators of note; and it only proves how wide is the range of 
Archaeology, that a subject so apparently unpromising a subject however, certainly, not of so dry 
a nature as persons who know no better declare Archa3ology in all its details and ramifications to 
be should in any form find admission into this Journal. Yet it is quite in our way. "We would 
wish to know something of the drinks of the ancient Irish, but more particularly of that for which 
we have obtained so great a reputation. We would wish to inquire into the antiquity of the art of 
distillation in Ireland, how it affected the progress of the people, its extent in early times, whether 
Ireland was really more noted for skill in the practice of it than other nations, its domestic influ- 
ence, its connection with the labour and productions of the country, from what materials this famous 
old Irish usquebaugh was extracted, and many other questions : the only matter for regret is that 
to none of them can any very precise or satisfactory solution be obtained. There seems in truth to 
be a sort of blank in our ancient records and among our early historians, in connection with this 
subject; cither because it was considered to be one altogether of minor importance, or was so well 
known that no one thought it necessary to make a note about it. On the otber hand, some persons 
seem to deny that any pi*oof could possibly exist in the places alluded to, for the very sufficient 
reason that the knowledge of distillation among the native Irish population is in reality not ancient, 
but comparatively modern ; and maintain that the general opinion regarding its antiquity among us 
is a mere popular error. Thus, a learned inquirer, whose researches into documentary evidence 
have been most extensive, has expressed to us an opinion, as resulting from that source of proof, that 
the "mere Irish," (will our readers pardon the not very respectful appellation) previously to the 
seventeenth century, were entirely destitute both of the chemical and mechanical knowledge 
necessary to practise distillation, which was, in reality, carried on by foreign traders only, in early 
times, in the large towns. In this opinion, however, we cannot concur. The distillatory art is, 
from every evidence, of the highest antiquity, and, when earned on in a rude way, requires a very 
small amount of either mechanical or chemical knowledge. Its introduction into Europe, 
in anything approaching to a perfect form, is generally attributed to tbosc pioneers of 
. vol. vi. \ 


civilisation, the Arabs, when possessed of dominion in Spain; and that it might reach this 
island from that quarter, if not before known in it, is a circumstance every way probable. 
Besides, we must give our remote ancestors credit for some ingenuity; nor do we mean to 
disparage them when we say that they probably exhibited an inclination, which clings to a 
few of their descendants to the present day, rather for those occupations in which there is some 
novelty, which require aptitude, and, at the same time, irregularity of labour, than for more severe 
and sustained employment, a disposition to which the art of distillation would present attractions 
not easily resisted. Besides, has not the Irish native been of a joyous temperament in eveiy age, 
and is it not at least likely that any bewitching stimulant which would enable him to leave dull 
earth still farther behind, if the slightest knowledge of it had once gained admittance into the land, 
would take root and spread? All this, no doubt, in the absence of direct evidence, is mere conjec- 
ture ; but such notices as we have been enabled to glean, both of early and more recent date, we 
shall proceed to lay before our readers, being well aware, at the same time, how few and imperfect 
they are, and how entirely the subject of the antiquity and extent of the art of distillation in 
Ireland still remains an open question. 

On inquiring from Dr. O'Donovan, we arc informed that in that great Irish code, the Brehon 
Laws, no allusion whatever is made to Aqua-vita?, while frequent curious references are contained 
therein to malt, and to ale or beer. "We believe indeed, that so long ago as the sixth century, proof 
is extant of the knowledge of ale possessed by the inhabitants of Ireland, and expressed in such a 
way as to indicate a perfectly familiar acquaintance with it. a But the earliest notice of Aqua-vitae 
which we have discovered in any of our printed records dates no further back than 1405, under 
which year, in the Annals of the Four Masters, it is thus related : " Richard MaeRannall, heir to 
the chieftainship of Muintir-Eolais, died of a surfeit in drinking ; " to which brief notice, the learned 
editor has appended this note: "The passage is given by Mageoghegan, in his version of the 
Annals of Clonmacnoise, as follows: 'A.D. 1405, Richard Magrancll, chieftain of Moyntyreolas, died 
at Christmas by taking a surfeit of aqua vito3.' Mine author sayeth it was not aqua vita to him, 
but aqua mortis. This is the first notice of uisge leatlia, aqua vita, usquebaugh, or whiskey, in the 
Irish Annals." If it be really the first notice, it is a pity that this old chief should exhibit so very 
early an example of loving not wisely, but too well the aqua-vitae of Ireland. It might also, 
be almost supposed from its tenor from the unconcerned way in which the fact is narrated (though 
there is nothing absolutely to verify such an opinion) that distilled spirit was not uncommon at the 
time, and that similar results from like causes may previously have happened. Be that as it may, 
however, we have it in our power to record, that some years before this untoward event occurred, 
or some time in the fourteenth century, there was compiled, perhaps written, by no less a personage 
than a Bishop of the Church, a very remarkable production, now existing in MS. called the Red 

1 Morewood, in his Treatise on Distillation, p. 002, gives an extract from the Life of St. Columba in proof of this fact. 


Book of Ossory, which contains, among a mass of miscellaneous Information connected with charters, 
rentals, and, it is to be supposed, domestic matters, the following explicit account on the subject of 
distillation. 1 ' "Aqua vite est alia simplex alia composita. Simplex est que sine alicujus rei 
admixtione simpliciter de vino elicitur, et dicitur aqua vini; que sicut simpliciter elicitur ita 
simpliciter sine vini vcl aque admixtione debet sumi. Aqua vite simplex hoc modo debet fieri. 
Acccperis vinum elcctum vetus" unius anni, et plus rubens (quam) grossum, potens non duke, et 
pone in olla, et claude os olle cum bona clepsedra facta dc ligno cum panno linco involuta, a qua 
olla debet exire cavalis ad aliud vas cum serpente, et illud vas aqua frigida debet implcri et frequen- 
ter renovari cum calescans fierit et aqua discumente per cavalem. Collocata ante olla cum vino 
super igne, distilla igne lento quounque medietatem vini impositi receperis deinde." [Aqua vita) is 
either simple or compound. The simple is that which, without any mixture, is drawn from wine, 
and is called Aqua vini ; and this, being drawn simply, should in like manner be used simply, with- 
out any mixture with wine or water. Simple Aqua-vita; is to be made in the following maimer : 
Take choice one-year-old wine, and rather of a red than of a thick sort, strong and not sweet, 
and place it in a pot, closing the mouth well with a clepsydra made of wood, and having a linen 
cloth rolled round it ; out of which pot there is to issue a cavalis leading to another 
vessel having a worm. This latter vessel is to be kept filled with cold water, frequently renewed 
wdien it grows warm and the water foams through the cavalis. The pot with the wine having 
been placed previously on the fire, distil it with a slow fire until you have from it one-half of the 
quantity of wine that you put in.] 

This is an accurate description of the distilling process in a rude and imperfect way. The man- 
ner in which the passage is worded would seem to imply that it describes what was easily understood 
and tolerably well known. But from it we remain uninformed whether the product which trickled 
from the still of the fourteenth century entered into use as a general beverage, or was intended only 
for medicinal purposes. The unhappy end of Macllannall, as just narrate 1, would appear to 
prove that, among persons of his rank at least, its use as an ordinary drink could not have been 
unknown. It is to be observed, that the knowledge of the art of producing alcohol, so far as the 
lied 13 o ok throws light upon it, was confined in this case to ecclesiastics, and that the passage 
affords no information to what extent it was known to the body of the people, or practised among 
them. It is also obvious that tins distillation was effected from foreign wine, already 
fitted for the purpose. No other meaning can be taken from the expressions used ; and as the 

l> This extract was given to the Editor of this Journal hv Kilkenny Castle, in the year 1 S.T.I, mid lias heen made le- 

Dr. Wilde, hnt it was first copied from the original by the gihle and perfect acain by the -kill of Sir 1-' red, rick 

Rev. .lames Graves of Kilkenny, to whose zeal in the cause Madden, of the British Museum. For a further lusUiry of 

of Irish historical research is to be attributed the preserva- this valuable book and its contents, see TruusnrtumA 

tion of the lied Book itself, from destruction. It was /" th< Kilk. nnii an.1 frjuth Kit <;/" lnhuul Archicoltyiwl 

lately rescued by Mr. Graves from a limp of rubbish, amon^ x 'y, No. li. p '.'. 
which it had been lyinj' since the occurrence of a tire in 


Valuable document in which the passage has been found formed part of the muniments of the 
Ormonde family, it may be fairly presumed that ordinary aqua-vitae was obtained from the inferior or 
rejected wine brought from foreign parts for the use of that princely household. The earlier name 
seems indeed to have been aqua vitis, or water of the grape, as in this extract; afterwards corrupted 
or improved, as it may be thought, into aqua vita, or water of life, cither from its resemblance to 
the original term, or its supposed virtues. It is unnecessary to say that neither this, nor any other 
document of the period known to us, communicates information as to knowledge having 
been possessed of the extraction of alcohol from materials of native growth, or of the method 
of preparing such for that purpose. In the Eecords of the Abbey of Waltham, and doubtless in 
those of many other religious houses both in England and Ireland, mention is made of the malting 
of oats. This was for making ale ; but it is also possible that oats and other grain, prepared by the 
malting process, may have been in use for distillation in monastic days, both within and without 
the walls. It is understood that the Red Book contains more information on the subject, at present 
inaccessible to us, but likely to appear elsewhere, which is much to be desired. The meagre 
statement that vinum was distilled into alcohol, by a process known perhaps centuries before, 
is unsatisfactory. Unsatisfactory, indeed, when we can now say, that from the cereals of 
every clime and of eveiy species from the sugar cane of the Tropics, from the ripe fruits 
which embellish the face of the earth and the cultivated roots which grow beneath its 
surface, from sugar wherever found or from what source derived modern art has obtained the 
alcohol of commerce ; and we are left to ask if the wise men of the fourteenth century were 
ignorant of all these numerous means of production, and were dependent for thpir aqua-vitae 
on the fermented and prepared juice of foreign grapes. Of all the materials named, grain, which 
to this day, we suppose, forms the principal basis of the distilled spirit of all Europe, is the 
only one to which they could have had recourse, and it would be strange if such were not the fact. 
The brewing of ale at this early period seems to have been perfectly well known, as it was many 

c A proof of this fact, and -which is worth making a note seeing Calvagh coming towards him he said; " There is thy 

of, occurs in the Annals of the Four Masters, in 1406, the cauldron with the kerns, O Calvagh ! and I order it to he 

very year after the death of the MacRannall from a surfeit of given to thee." " I accept of it where it is," said Calvagh. 

Aqua-vita'. It is thus related: "A great defeat was given The cauldron was at this time on the hack of a young man 

by Murrough O'Conor, Lord of Offaly, with his son, Cal- one of the plunderers of the town; and Calvagh O'Conor 

vach, and the sons of O'Conor Roe, namely, Cathal Duv and flung a stone which he happened to have in his hand, and 

Tiege (who had come to Offaly with a troop of cavalry on which, striking against the cauldron, produced such a noise 

a visit) to the English of Meath and to Owen the son of and sound as struck a sudden terror and panic hi the hearts 

tin Abbot O'Conor who had the retained kernes of Con- of all the plunderers, so that they instantly took to night. 

naught with him. Both of these armies repaired to the They were swiftly pursued, slaughtered, and vanquished, 

upper part of Geshill ; and Owen the son of the Abbot, &c." Such is the notice; and it is remarkable how similar little 

wnh his own baud of kernes, went to Cluaiu-inrmurrois, parallel passages of history turn up now and again. The 

and to the town of Gillaboy Mac Muoilcorra, where Calvagh "brewing-pan" or cauldron of a village, nearly within the 

tin- son of Murrough O'Conor, and Cathal the son of memory of persons living, was almost common property, or 

O'Conor Roe, attended by six horsemen came up with Owen at least, was very generally lent from house to house, as oc- 

and his people as they were collecting the spoils of the casion required; and an event somewhat similar to that 

town. The proprietor of tliis town had a cauldron which just related from the Annals of the Four Masters (differing 

he had borrowed from Calvagh for breinny beer; and on altogether, indeed, in its results), occurred, according to 


centuries before as it was, indeed, by the nations of antiquity and it would have been remarkable 
if a fluid so similar in its appearance and properties should not soon have been taken advantage of 
in distillation, as a substitute for a material more expensive and more difficult of attainment. The 
transition or advance cannot have been difficult. Mead was made from honey, and beer from malt; 
long before this time beer and malt were among the exports of Ireland; the art of distillation was 
known at least to some in the country, as is proved from the lied Book of Ossory ; so that there 
seems to be really no improbability that grain was used in distillation at this early period, and to 
even a greater extent than might be supposed. 

From this period, down to the time of Henry VIII. we have been unable to obtain any direct 
evidence of the extent of the use of aqua-vitas in Ireland, though there can be no doubt whatever 
that during the interval its production must have regularly increased. This is amply proved by a 
recommendation contained in the Breviate of Baron Finglass, published in that reign. He proposes, 
for the amendment of the country, " that there be but one maker of aqua-vita? in every Burrough 
Towne, upon pain of six and eight pence, toties quoties, as many as do the contrary." In Scotland, 
also, a country which consumes now, in proportion to its population, a greater quantity of alcohol 
than any other in Europe, with the exception, perhaps, of Holland, (and in both cases we make 
no positive assertion, but merely a current statement, no means of proof either way being just at 
hand,) some such restraining ordinance as that of Baron Finglass in Ireland seems about the same 
time to have been required. From a recent work an extract has been copied into a well-known 
periodical,' 1 being a decree of the town council of Edinburgh, in the year 150.3, declaring "that 
na persoun, man or woman, within this burgh male nor sell ony aquavit of and going on to bestow 
the privilege of making such exclusively on the associated craft of Surgeon Barbers. It is suffi- 
cient proof that at this early time Ireland was not alone in a knowledge of the distilling art. 

From an Act of Parliament, passed in 1556, and referred to in the following terms, by " the 
Commissioners appointed to report on the affairs of Ireland to king James in 1620," further distinct 
proof is given of the extent to which the traffic must have reached in the former year, during the 
reign of Philip and Mary. The Commissioners declare, among a great many other things, " that con- 
cerning Aqua-vitao, the price whereof your Ma tie directs to be sett by art of state, we humbly offer 
to your Ma u,s consideracon that the statute 28 Eliz. c. 5, in Ireland, for sitting the prices of wines 
extends not to aqua-vita?, but there is a statute made in the fourth yearc of Phillip and Mary, here 
in Ireland, cap. 7, that recites the consumpcion of graine in making of aqua-vita?, and that it is not 
proffitablc to be day ly drunk; and enacts that noe man withoute the Lord Dcputye's Lyccnce, 
scalled with the Great Scale of the Ucalme, make aquavita? within this llealuie, under paine of 

tradition, in Carrickfergus, in 17f>0. In that meinora- the town brewing-pan was to lie preserved from the plunilcr- 

ble year when the French were hourly expected to make ing enemy ; ami it was. in consequence, hurriedly carried 

good their descent, one of the greatest causes of alarm oil', perhaps on the hack of a young man of tin- town, and 

among the inhabitants of that ancient corporation was, how concealed in a secure place till the danger had passed away. 
d Chambers's Journal for August, ls>58, p. 9C>. 


Imprisonment at the Deputie's pleasure, and to forfeitt 4 lb. of Irish money ; which statute, by 
express proviso therein, extends not to any of the Peers, nor to any Gentleman that may dispend to 
his ownc use in Lands or Tenements for Life or of Inheritance &c. 10 lb. sterl g by the yeare. Nor 
to any Freeman dwelling in any Citty or Burrough charged with Burgesses to Parliament, but that 
they may make it for their own expenses. And albeit this act was made purposely to rcstraine the 
exeesse of aqua- vitas, yet by reason of this new Patente the abuse is continued and multiplied. And 
whereas the Law only punished the making of aqua-vitoo, the Patentee, withoute warrant of that 
Law, extends the Lycense to Buyers and Sellers of the same, and hereby abuses the Country, and 
extorts a pryvate gaine to the publique loss." 

All these statements go to prove that the making of aqua-vitae in Ireland, in the reign of Henry 
VIII. still more in that of Philip and Mary and their immediate successors, had assumed some 
magnitude, and that grain was the material used in the manufacture. Our readers will of course 
be aware that a duty on aqua-vitae, (that strong foundation on which modern Chancellors of the Ex- 
chequer so much build their hopes,) was at this time, and, indeed, for about another century, a matter 
quite unknown; and the abuses, noticed by the Commissioners as resulting from this "new Patente," 
referred to a method adopted in the beginning of the reign of James I. empowering certain favoured 
individuals, 6 by patent, on payment generally of some small sum, to grant licences for the making 
and selling of aqua-vitae throughout the kingdom: which project would also appear, from the 
expressions used in the preceding extract, not to have been effectual in keeping either the sale or 
the manufacture within due bounds. The statements altogether, however, are difficult to be recon- 
ciled with the opinion that the native Irish before the 17th century were not far enough advanced in 
knowledge to take part in the manufacture. On the contrary, we find that about this period distil- 
lation from grain had become so extensive as to require restraint and regulation by the government ; 
the statute of 1556 actually affirming that aqua-vitae was universally made throughout the " Ecalme, 
especially on the borders of the Irishry." We find, also, that long before, any little chemical or 
mechanical skill required for the process was, at least by some, so far acquired, as to make 
alcohol, if not common, of sufficient notoriety to obtain a passing notice in our annals ; and it is not 
at all likely that this knowledge had remained confined to the Pale. At the same time, it is 
to be supposed that the chief seats of the traffic were in the towns; and it is quite possible that the 
crude spirit may have been made to some extent throughout the country, and brought into them for 

for the lS e sn^1f ia 4 S , WaS ^ Thomas P^ m P s ^, and Henry Yelverton, Esq., to nominate and appoint, at 
foi tlu small sum of 13s. 4d yearly, received the privilege, their pleasure, such persons as they might think lit to keep 

count v o ? Col', ^l Iltm? '^m f tMS k T T WithiU , the a taVem in an >" P art of ^^ and t0 b > * seU w5 

the 1 i n- Lrv S p T ? C ^ S C T H' T Y^ aml to make aild sdl > iu S 1 ' 085 and ^ retail, Aqua-vita, and 

, , . ' ' > called tlie Kowte m the county of Antrim." usquebaugh 

In 1M)9 a grant was made for the support of the Lady t, ,, 

Arabella Stuart (historic and romantic name) for twenty- , r turtllel * information respecting these licenses, see 

one years, empowering, on her behalf. Sir George St Poll Morcwood's History of Distillation, p. Vol. 


sale to more cunning dealers, to be purified, flavoured with aromatics, and, in fact, made up into 
that compound, for which the kingdom had already obtained some fame, under the title of the 
"Usquebaugh of Ireland." 

The writers of Elizabeth's time abound with observations on the subject of aqua-vitte, from which 
it will appear plainly enough that, as a beverage or stimulant, it was nearly as well known, and in as 
much favour among a class, as in more modern times, whether it was manufactured by the mere Irish, 
or by merchants in the towns. The nurse in Romeo and Juliet in her " griefs, woes, and sorrows " 
exclaims, " Give me some aqua- vita?." The illustrious author of the Fairy Queen, in his View of the 
State of Ireland, among his various observations as to what might be done for the improvement of 
the kingdom, suggests the abolition of what he mentions as a practice of the time, " the cessing of 
souldiours upon the country;" declaring "that the souldiours during their lying at cessc will not 
oncly not content themselves with such victuals as their hostes, nor yet as the place affordes but 
they will have other meate provided for them and aqua-vitoe sent for &c." Fynes Moryson in his 
History of Ireland, thus writes : "And the said Humidity of Air and Land making the Fruits for 
Food more raw and moist ; hereupon the Inhabitants and Strangers are troubled with Looseness of 
Body, the Country Disease. Yet for the Rawness they have an excellent Remedy, by their Aqua 
Vita), vulgarly called Usquebagh, which binds the Belly and drieth up Moisture more than our 
A qua- vita}, yet inflamcth not so much." Campion expresses the same favourable opinion of the 
country's produce, declaring 1, " that the inhabitants (especially newcome) are subject to distillations, 
rhumes, and nixes, for remedy whereof they use an ordinary drink of aqua-vita so qualified in the 
making that it dryeth more and inflameth less than oilier bote confections." Again, 1 '' the same 
writer gives the following account of the feasts and festivals of our ancestors what we might call 
the Irish soirees of the days of Elizabeth : " Shamrotes, Water-cresses, Rootcs, and other Hearbcs 
they feed upon ; Oatcmcalc and Butter they cramme together. They drink Whey, Milke, and 
Beef broth; Flcshc they devoure withoute Brcadc; Cornc such as they have tluy keepe for their 
Horses. In haste and hunger they squccse out the Blood of raw Flesh and askc no more dressing 
thereto; the reste boyleth in their stomackes with Aqua-vita, which they swill in after such a sur- 
feite by quarts and pottles." Campion also writes 1 ' " This Savage, having prepared an army 
against the Irish, allowed to every souldiour, before ho buckled with the enemy, a mighty draught 
of Aqua-vita, wine, or old ale." It is not necessary to remind our readers that the statements of 
writers of this class regarding the domestic manners of our ancestors arc to he received with some 
caution; and they are brought forward here only in proof of the fact that in Ireland, in the six- 
teenth century, alcohol was a common and well-known hevcrage. 

farther corroboration of the fact is at hand from sources less known, having reference however 

f Historic of [rchiml, p. 13. " p. '2">. '' p. V.M. 


to a period somewhat later than the era of Spenser and Campion. That most curious and unique 
production, "The Visit of Captain Bodlcy to Locale, in 1602," which first appeared in this 
Journal l makes frequent and distinct reference to the extensive use of usquebaugh at that time. 
William Lithgow, that wanderer in all lands, thus describes the Irish in 1619: "Indeede for 
entertainement of strangers they are freely disposed ; and gentlemen of any good sort reserve ever 
in their houses Spanish sack and Irish uscova, and will be as tipsie with their wives, their priests, 
and their friends, as though they were naturally enfeoft in the eleven Royal Taverns of Naples." 
We hope this is a libel on the ladies and the learned clerics : as for the hosts and their friends the 
report is not of much consequence, and cannot in any sensible degree prejudice their memories, as 
they were only following, we may safely suppose, the established custom of the time. How little 
was that custom changed down to comparatively recent days ! There may be persons still living, 
even in the good town of Belfast, and many other parts of the country as well, who can call to 
remembrance the triumphant looks of certain hospitable hosts when returning with the key of the 
outer door and depositing it in a secure place to prevent the departure of their guests till a certain 
quantity of aqua-vitoe had been consumed by each ; and till, as a natural result, those who were 
not lying under the table could only warble forth, in a feeble and incoherent croak, how a "peck 
o' maut " was brewed by one "Willie," of jovial memory ! Happily, the manners and customs of 
those days are now almost traditional. 

Returning to the sixteenth century, however, and the beginning of the seventeenth, not only 
does Irish aqua-vita) appear to have been in common use among all 'classes at home, but presents 
of it were sent to persons of condition in England, either as rare cordials, or as something better 
than any they could procure in their own country, which latter fact would hardly be disputed from 
that day to the present. In the State Paper Office, there is a letter from the Mayor of Waterford 
White, by name to Lord Burghley, dated 1585, wherein the writer says that he has sent his lord- 
ship "two bed coverings, two green mantles, and a roundell of aqua-vitce." Perhaps at some of 
the stately entertainments at which the sagacious Burghley was wont to preside, a portion of the 
contents of this very "roundell" may have been submitted to his noble and courtly guests as one 
of the few good things produced in this disturbed land ; nor is it beyond the range of possi- 
bility that the "imperial votress" herself may on some occasion have so far foregone her habitual 
abstemiousness as to taste (as matter of curiosity merely) what we may perhaps call the "old Water- 
ford malt" of the year 1585 ! 

There is another curious letter in the State Paper Office, dated Dublin, October 14th, 1622, from 
Lord Justice Cork to a Captain Price, at Durham House, Strand, London, in which the Lord Justice 
says: "This bearer, Mr. Edmund Hunt, hath in chardg to present my honored Lord, the Lord 
Keeper, with an Irish Harpc, and the good Lady Coventry with a runnlett of milde Irish Uskeiach, 

'Vol. II., p. 73. 


sent unto her Ladyship by my youngest daughter, Peggie, who was so much bound to her Ladyship 
for her great goodness. I pray help Mr. Hunt to deliver them with tender of my everlasting 
thankes and services, not only to my Lord & Lady, but alsoe to young Mr. Coventry and his virtu- 
ous bedfellow. And I doe assure you, yf yt please his L p next his hart in the morning to drinke a 
little of this Irish Uskebach, it will help to disgest all raw humours, expell wynde, & keep his 
inwarde parte warme all the day after, without any offence to his stomacke." Let all the com- 
munity of water-drinkers ponder over this sage advice from a Lord Justice. The phrase "next 
his hart" probably means, fasting, a method of imbibing Aqua-vitae which still finds favour with 
certain hard-mouthed, "base mechanicalls." The harp was, no doubt, an appropriate and grace- 
ful tribute ; but a runlet of "mild usquebaugh" from a young lady of rank in Ireland to another of 
the highest station in England, would be thought rather a strange present in these latter days. 

There is another letter in the State Paper Office also laudatory of the great virtue supposed to 
reside in Irish usquebaugh. It is from one Robert Lombard, dated "Waterford, March 22nd, 1629, 
to "Viscount Carleton, in which he says that he sends a "rundcll of Islcabahie agenst your Lord- 
ship's old enemie y e Strangullian." j 

From all the preceding facts and original documents it is plain that Ireland, whatever may 
have been the case since, had by this time obtained a high character for the excellence of 
its Usquebaugh. Its consumption must have been considerable, though the quantity made in the 
kingdom could not have been very great, according to modem ideas. The example does not 
appear to have been followed by the English people no notices having been met with of distilled 
spirits being in common use as a beverage in that country in the sixteenth century. A poem of 
Elizabeth's time, enumerating the taverns and drinks of London, and entitled Xewes from Bar- 
tholomew Fair, commences thus : 

" There hath been great sale and utterance of wine, 
Beside ale and beer and Ipocras fine, 
In every country, region, and nation, 
But mostly at Billingsgate, at the Salutation, &c." 
No mention is made of spirits in the poem ; it being an error to confound Ipocras with alcohol, as 
some have done. It is merely wine, with a strong infusion of spices. But even long after this 
period, we may fairly conclude that Ireland was specially the land of usquebaugh. One of the 
numerous works of Taylor, the "Water-poet, is entitled Drink and Welcome: or, the famous IIu- 
torxj of the most part of Brinlccs, in use now in the Kingdom of Great Britain and Belaud. This 
was published in 1637, and there is no writer who can he named as a better authority for a per- 
fect acquaintance with the usages of the time in England, in this department, than Taylor. 

J Quorv, Strangury ? For nil Iheso extracts from the F.-q.. Hounslow, London, formerly of Belfast, who has con- 
state Paper Office, 'and various other statements contained trihuted many valuable papers to this Journal, 
in this paper, the writer is indebted to William Pinkerton, 

VOL. VI. 2 X 


Though called the "Water-poet, on account of his vocation as waterman on the Thames, he had no 
special fondness beyond this for the native element. He kept, in fact, a public- house, was a royalist 
patronized by the rollicking cavaliers, and yet in this work, entering minutely into the subject 
and mentioning many kinds of wine, cider, beer, ale, &c, as in use in England, no allusion is made 
to spirits. A change, however, must have come over the sober-minded people of England towards 
the middle or latter part of the century, if a work published by a person called Tryon, in 1682, be 
any indication of the true state of society. It is entitled "Health's Preservation; or Woman's 
Best Doctor, shelving the nature and operation of Brandy, Rum, Each, and other distilled spirits, 
and the ill consequences of mens\ hit especially of womerHs, drinking such pernicious Liquors, and 
smoaking Tobacco;" and in the first chapter the writer says, "Brandy, Rum, and Rack of late 
years are become as common drinks among many as Beer & Ale." All this, however, is rather 
beside our subject, which was intended to refer especially to Ireland, though there is no doubt 
that we kept pace with our English neighbours in the consumption of liquors of some kind, or 
perhaps even outstripped them. This must be so, if the statement of so sagacious and able a man 
as Sir "William Petty be at all correct, In his Political Anatomy, to a computation of the popu- 
lation of that day, their employments, the number of houses in the kingdom, and how the people 
might be better and more profitably employed, he appends the following extraordinary memo- 
randum : " That in Dublin, where are but 4000 families, there are at one time 1180 Ale-houses 
and 91 publick Brew-houses, viz., near one-third of the whole. It seems that in Ireland, there 
being 200,000 families, about 60,000 of them should use the same trade, and consequently, that 
180,000, viz., 60,000 men, as many women, and as many servants, do follow the trade of Drink." 
In a note he adds, " Whereas, it is manifest, that two-thirds of the Ale-houses maybe spared, even 
although the same quantity of Drink should be sold," leaving free, by this means, to follow occu- 
pations more conducive to the general prosperity of the country, no less than 120,000 persons, 
"spore hands," as he calls them. We have surely improved not a little since those days. The 
calculation is altogether incredible, and we think incorrect ; but it proves at least what was the 
impression of the time, when no statistical accuracy was attainable, regarding the excessive use of 
intoxicating beverages. Reference is certainly made by Petty to ale-houses only, and no means 
are at reach from his evidence to come at the proportion of alcohol consumed, for qualifing the 
effects of this enormous flood of small beer. 

Shortly after the Restoration, when the farming of the Revenue ceased, the first duty of four-pence 
per gallon was imposed on ardent spirits in Ireland. We have not obtained any account of the 
quantity made earlier than 1719, in which year all the spirits distilled in Ireland amounted only 
to 1 73,000 gallons, while the imported quantity was double that amounts A disproportion nearly 
as great continued for many years; the imported spirits in the year 1772 having been more than 

k For a tabular view of the spirits made in {lie kingdom, the imports of spirits and vdne from 1719, see Morewood's 


two-and-a-half millions of gallons, while the quantity produced in the kingdom did not reach one 
third of that amount. During the last century, and somewhat advanced into the present, the 
import of foreign wine exceeded considerably one million of gallons; in several years it went beyond 
two millions; and in 1796 reached the great quantity of 3,209,000 millions. Efforts must have been 
made during all this time to promote the consumption of home-manufacture of some description, to 
the exclusion, or at least to the diminished use, of foreign produce. In the Dublin Society's 
Weekly Observations of 1736, not very far from a paper advocating the practicability and advantage 
of cultivating hops on the red bogs of Ireland, (the progress and result of which most hopeful project, 
by the way, we have never yet learned,) there arc several letters describing the process of ale-brew- 
ing, with a view to its extension. The writer sadly laments the little encouragement given by the 
gentry to the manufacture of ale; describing with how much success it could be carried on, by rea- 
son of its suitableness to our soil and climate, and saying that "for some time past wine is become 
almost the general entertainment of our people, and the care and improvement; of our malt liquor 
almost totally neglected." He makes no allusion to spirits, of which the entire quantity made in 
the kingdom in that year appears to have been only 195,000 gallons, while the imported was no 
less than 627,000. 

In any account of the antiquity of ale in Ireland, we arc not aware that any attempt has been 
made to explain the popular Irish tradition of the Danes and of the other old inhabitants of the 
country having made beer from heather. The writer in the Dublin Society's Observation*, wbo 
so strongly advocated the extended use of malt liquor, would naturally have a very mean opinion 
of such a sapless material, if he had ever heard it mentioned at all ; and it would certainly not 
be practicable to make anything resembling modern beer where there existed neither saccharine 
juice nor vinous fermentation. Still, a tradition so universal had probably some foundation; but 
we have always been of opinion that the heather was used merely as the bitter or aromatic ingre- 
dient. It is quite possible, however, that a decoction or infusion of heath was used in Ireland 
in the most remote times, and that some such preparation was indeed an ancient drink; the tra- 
dition is very much corroborated by the ensuing quotation from a work published in London in 
1596, entitled " Sundric Newe and Artificial Remedies against Famine," in which the following 
directions arc given for making '-'A Cheapo Liquor for Poore Men when Malt is extream Deare : 
If a poorc man in the time of flowering doe gather the toppes of heath, with the Jlowers which 
is usually called & knownc by the name of Ling in the northerlie parts of this Realme, & lay 
up sufficient store thereof for his own provision, it being well dried and carefully kept from 
putriefying or moulding, he may at all times make a very pleasing & chcapc drink for himselfe 
by boiling the same in fair water with such proportion thereof as may best content his own taste." 

But here we must cease for the present. We trust we have so far kept within our limits, and 
opened tip a subject, for further inquiry of more interest than ordinary readers might at first sight 
consider it capable. U. B. 




Tn>: Ossianic ballads and tales in the Gaelic language, relating to the exploits of bands of 
warriors called Fenians, who, according to the Irish annalists, nourished in Ireland from the 
1st to the 4th century, challenge a higher antiquity than is accorded, we believe, to the 
rhythmical legends of any other Northern European nation. These ancient poems have, for the 
most part, come down to us orally; and the names of the principal heroes, Goll M c Morna 
and Fionn M'Coolc, are familiar as household Avords in the mouths of the native Irish peasantry 
of Ulster. Equally prevalent throughout the Western islands and Highlands of Scotland, 
these traditional songs formed, as is well known, the basis of Macpherson's splendid fabrication, 
The Poems of Ossiari. Hitherto, the characters celebrated in these ballads have generally been 
considered as warriors of Gaelic race, and many critics have deemed them to be mere mythi- 
cal representations. 13ut reflection and research having convinced us that the personages so 
commemorated arc of a different origin, we offer the following pages in elucidation of their true 
history, which will, we conceive, prove them to be by no means myths ; and moreover, that, 
apart from the poetic interest attached to them, their age and circumstances are well worthy 
of full examination. 

The Ossianic Society, founded in Dublin, in 1853, for the publication of MSS. in the Irish lan- 
guage, illustrative of the "Fenian" or " Ossianic" age, has already produced three volumes, and 
proposes to rescue many MSS. and tracts, bearing on ancient Irish history, from their present state of 
obscurity. The Irish Archaeological and Celtic Society has also suggested several manuscripts for 
publication, which bear so fully on the themes we arc about to touch upon, that we long to see 
them in print, viz. : " The Wars of the Irish and Danes," M c Firbis's " Account of the Firbolgs 
and Daucs of Ireland," and the "History of the Boromean Tribute." 

Pending the publication of these additions to the present amount of knowledge respecting 
the " Ossianic Age," a discussion of the subject brought before the public by the Ossianic Society 
may perhaps be considered as yet premature. But, believing that we have gleaned several 
points of information which have escaped the notice of former workers in this field, we submit 
them to the opinion of Irish archaeologists. 

The remarks about to be offered will be more intelligible, if Ave plainly state what Ave bring 
to the heap, in the way of addition and leaven, and Ave therefore premise that Ave shall attempt to 
establish the following opinions : 

1st. That the ago we style the " Ossianic," closed in the 5th century ; 


2nd. That Goll M c Morna and Fionn iPCoole, the principal heroes of Fenian literature, were 

leaders of foreign mercenaries in Ireland ; 

3rd. That the clan of the former hero was connected with the Oirghialla, a peculiar tribe 

of mercenaries in Ulster ; and that his posterity can be distinctly traced, as military followers 

of the O'Xeills, down to the 17th century. 
These remarkable facts are unnoticed in the publications of the Ossianic Society. 

4th. That the Scots of Ireland differed ethnologically from the Celts, either owing to 

difference of extraction, or to infusions of Teutonic blood on the paternal side. 
Without proposing to enter much, at present, into the disputed question of Scottish and Irish 
origins, this controversial point enters so fully into our theme that we must state our impressions 
regarding it. The eastern and southern pure Irish seem to have been of Celtic extraction, and com- 
posed of colonies from Britain, Gaul, Wales, and, perhaps, also from Spain. Diodorus, an author 
of the century prior to the Christian era, and one of the earliest foreign writers that notice Ire- 
land, speaks of Britons as the inhabitants of this island. We will also observe, as proofs of tbc com- 
paratively recent date of the Scotic colony in this country, that the name " Scoti" docs not appear 
among the tribes set down in Ptolemy's map ; that it does not occur in any writer until the close 
of the 3rd century ; and that we learn from the Confession of St. Patrick, a document now of 
acknowledged authenticity, that in the life-time of that missionary (the middle of the fifth century), 
the name of Scots did not extend to all the inhabitants of Ireland, but that those persons to whom 
he applies it were all of the dominant caste ; whereas he calls the bulk of the people Hiberionaces, 
showing that the conquering race, although masters of the country (like the Angles in Britain, 
and the Franks in Gaul), had not yet imposed their name on the entire kingdom/ 

The dates and circumstances of the arrival of Belgians in this country is wrapped in obscurity ; 
but there is reason for believing that the settlers known as Fir-Bolgs, i.e., Belgoe, were the first 
Teutonic colonists. The Ostmcn or Eastcrlings, who settled as traders, came, probably, from Den- 
mark and the seats of the original Eastcrling merchants of the Hanseatic League. 1 " Dr. 
Wood observes that the only inhabitants of Ireland who attracted the notice of foreign 
writers were the enterprising Belgao, whom, as Goths or Scythians, they denominated Scoti or 
Scuit. Our own annals frequently notice the invasion of Fomuirigh, i.e., sea-robbers, styled 
" gigantes ct pirati " by Cambrensis, and now admitted to have been the foremost Scandinavian 
adventurers in Ireland. Their ancient designation as " Africans," may have arisen from the cir- 
cumstance that the Goths who plundered Home itself in the Gth century were settlers, as corsairs, 
on the coast of Africa. Although the annals of the Four Masters do not notice any invasion 
as Scandinavian of earlier date than the 8th century, they afford evidence of intercourse be- 
tween nations bordering on the Baltic with the Irish during the first and second centuries. It 
a Moore's History of Ireland. b Commines, I, 102. 


appears from Saxo Grammaticus that, in the fourth century, some Danish chieftains, whom he 
names, had been engaged in piratical incursions upon the Irish coast. According to the author of 
Ogygia, King Tuathal is said to have flourished as monarch of Ireland in the second century, 
and to have married a daughter of a King ov Finland, whose nation were among the sea-wan- 
derers styled Fomuirigh. King Tuathal's brother is declared to have been the introducer of the 
Fenian forces celebrated in our Ossianic literature ; and certainly their appearance in our annals 
actually dates from the remarkable reign of Tuathal. 

If our theory, as to the extraction of the Fianna c (as the military mercenaries in Ireland are 
generally styled by Oisin) be well-founded, they were originally two distinct races. "We take the 
earliest of their order to have been Belgians, afterwards called Scots, under Goll IPlLorna ; and 
the last-comers to have been Finns, of the tribe mentioned by Tacitus as inhabiting the southern 
shores of the Baltic. Though both tribes of these foreign forces were styled Fianna by the Irish, 
the former came to be called Oirghialla, i.e., Easterling foreigners ; and the latter, introduced as 
hostile to them, and afterwards called Lochlannaigh, A or Scandinavians proper, were the Fenians under 
the command of the renowned Fionn Mac Cumhaill. In fact, they appear to have been precursors 
of those other continental hired bands, who, under the names of Anglo-Saxons, Anglo-Danes, 
and JSTormans, afterwards subjugated England, Ireland, and jSormandy. 

In cotemporary Latin authors we find the clearest light thrown on the condition of the early 

Scots and Picts. The Boman general, Theodosius, chased their galleys from the British shores, 

according to the verse of Claudian : 

" ]S"ec falso nomine Pictos 

Edomuit, Scotumque vago mucronc secutus, 

Fregit Hyperboreas remis audacibus undas." 
Other lines in the same poem, besides describing the signal triumph which Theodosius had achieved 
over three northern nations, locates the Saxons (perhaps Anglo-Danes) in the Scottish isles : 

" Maduerunt Saxone fuso 

Orcades, incaluit Pictorum sanguine Thule, 

Scotorum cumulos flcvit glacialis Ierne." 
The same poet, in celebrating the successes of Stilicho in repelling descents on the British coast, 
notably enough styles that sea-king " the Scot," Avho commanded the galleys then infesting the 
Irish shores : " Totam cum Scotus Iernen 

Movit et infesto spumavit remige Tethys." 

c It is difficult to find a satisfactory derivation for the they trusted solely to arrows a weapon for which the an- 

term Feine, or Fianna. According to Mallet's Northern cient Scots were likewise famous. Their language is under- 

Antiquities, the Finns originally spread over the southern stood to resemble that of the Esthonians. (Mallet, 71) 

parts of Norway and Sweden, where they were driven by M c Firbis was of opinion that some of the persons named 

colonies of Scythians and Germans. If such was the case, Fenians who nourished in Ireland were of the Firbolg 

this people would at a still earlier time, have been found in race of Tara, whom he calls Attncots, or plebeians, 

continental Scandinavia. Tacitus writes of the Fenni that J Battleot Gabhra, published by the Ossianic Society- 


Who the original Scoti were, is a question involved in deep obscurity ; but for our present pur- 
pose, it suffices to remark, that, as the earliest allusions to them represent them as maritime, we 
incline to believe they were vik-ingar or sea-kings. The former word is a Scandinavian desig- 
nation, meaning wick-men, i.e., fishermen and piratic frequenters of wicks, or inlets, such as Viking's 
Forth (now Lame Lough), Wicklow, and Smerwick. The word Skotar is used in a Saga quoted 
in the Antiq. CJto-Scandicce, seemingly as synonimous with Fiyfc-ingar. King Alfred calls them 
Skyttar, the root of which seems to ho sky t, to cast, whence the words to scud, scout, skittle, skittish, 
and scoth, a cot, yacht, or galley, a edentate. Remarkably enough, the word sgoth, anciently 
scoth, is still used in the Highland dialect of the Gaelic for a boat, so that the first Scots may have 
been called Scotha or cot-men. 

Judging from several circumstances, the race of Mall of the Mne Hostages, who, it is supposed, 
was the Scot, or Sea-King repulsed by Stilicho, appear to have originally been vikingar, at- 
tracted to form settlements in the wicks or estuaries of the Foyle and Bann by the abundance of 
salmon in these rivers. The patronymic of their chiefs, MacLochlin, signifies "son of the Scan- 
dinavian." One of their cognizances, a salmon, is emblematic of their mission to these shores. We 
must, however, reserve inquiry into the cthonologic distinctions between the Scots of the Xorth 
and the Hibernians of the South for some future occasion, and, in the meanwhile, shall be glad to 
receive any elucidations of this interesting question from others. 

Viewing the Fenians, our present subject, by the light of various authorities, we see that their 
personal attributes, as well as their psychological traits, stamp them as a Teutonic people. They 
are described as gigantic, fair-complexioned, and fair-haired ; as being skilful at sea, addicted to 
conquest and colonization, and apt at governing; all which arc Anglian attributes. c 

AVe believe that these foreign settlers were primarily employed by the aboriginal Celtic kings 
as hired auxiliaries. 

The Luchd-tighe, i.e., people of the house, or household-troops/ of ancient Irish kings, were 

c Bowling, a Loinster historian of the 16th century, re- fit. Cauirr (edited by the late Marquis of Ormonde) for a 

cords in his annuls that, in the time of Laoghaire, son of paragraph describing the visit of saint to the court of 

Niall of the Hostages, who died in the middle of the 5th the King of Loinster, rircn 5ti0; on which invasion lie found 

century, and of St. Patrick, who died at its close, the Nor- the clan assembled to witness a novel method of killing 

wegians, warlike men. bold, robust, and covetous, and given children, by throwing them high over the points of spears 

to conquer the kingdoms of others, having acquired the fixed in the ground. This new mode was called Cuil-rhr.rt], 

Orkneys and the Scottish isles, came from thence into Ire- !.<.. the foreign way; and was practised (so we read in 

land; and that from that period until the conquest of I lovedeii) by the Scoti and Sen-Kings, one of whom, Oliver 

Turgesius, thirty-three Norwegian Kings roigued in Ireland. " H.irmikall," />.. the preserver of Ixiirn.i or children, ob- 

If this dynasty was that of the Oirghialla, there is much tain d this nickname from having interdicted this savage 

apparent truth in Howling' s statement-. CambreiiMs pa-time to hi-, crews. 

observes that the first Scandinavian in vaders were Northmen. 'Primitive household troops were known by various 

Among other authorities vouching for an earlier appearance designations. Sometimes they are named //./? r/.<r, i.e., 

of Sea-Kings in Ireland than our arclneologists* ami his-^ house churls. They are also the " kempory-men" or men 

torians were inclined to admit, we may quote the Life of of the camp, of old Knglish ballad.-. The Scandinavian 

Sec Moore's note in his Fliitm-i/ f I n-lnixl. vol 1., p. fid, pointiicr out the Hew Hr. OVonor's unworthy misquotation, which 
v,as designed to conceal the early appearance of Danes in Ireland. 


generally foster-kindred, but occasionally foreigners, like the Varingar of Constantinople, the 
Danish halberdiers of Westminster, and the Frankish and Scottish guards of Paris. The Irish 
Gall-oglacha, galloglasses, i.e., foreign servitors, such as the ILDonnclls, M c Cabes, and M c Sweyns, 
are acknowledged to be of Scandinavian origin. We read in the Four Masters, a.m., 4248, of a 
commander of the king of Tara's guards slaying his master and usurping the throne a revolution 
quite ordinary in the histories of other nations. " Cinel-lugh-tighe," i.e., the tribe of the house- 
hold troop, seems to have been an original denomination of the Clan 0'Donnell. g Similarly, there 
was the Clan-Ceitherne, descended from some " cateran" or kerne band that had served the kings 
of Ulster, and from whom Clan-kehernj^, in Roscommon, subsequently galloglass-land, was named. 1 ' 
We also find the guards of an O'Xcill king mentioned, a.d., 728, and a notice of his sending to 
Scotland for auxiliaries. 

The earliest mention of Fenians in Ireland is as " the soldiers of Teamhair," or Tara ; and they 
would seem to have been designated Luchd na Tcamhrach. Their descendants, as it would appear, 
the Oirghialla, are legendarily spoken of by O'Neill's bard, in 1265/ as having originally been 
" the soldiers" and " guards" of the palace of Eamania; and, moreover, the O'Xeills are alluded 
to by him as muintir milidh Teamhrach "the military people of Tara;" which, with other cir- 
cumstances, inclines us to believe that the fictitious deduction of the Scotic Irish from the Milesians 
arose from the use of this word milidhe, which seems to be merely a Gaelic translation of the 
Latin milites. 

Our present endeavour to give reality to the heroes of Ossian may be best begun by showing 
that certain ancient septs of Ulster appear to have descended from Goll M c Morna ; because what- 
ever truth may attach to our researches on this point, will throw light on other portions of our 
inquiry into the Ossianic Age. 

All notices of Goll M c 3Iorna, one of the principal Fenian heroes, are of too poetic a nature to 
deserve belief, further than as evidence that a warrior of this name, or one resembling it, flourished 
during the Ossianic Age. He is named Colle M e Morne in The Booh of JTowth, a compilation, 
made in the 16th century, of the traditions of the ancient English territory north of Dublin, still 
known as the district of " Fingal." According to bardic genealogies, to which wc cannot give 
implicit faith, Colla Mor, i.e.. the great, -was father of Mughdhorn Dubh, i.e., Morna the black, from 
whom the Clan-Morna were named. The only other Mughdhorn of whom we find mention Avas 
daughter of king Mogh, and a ruling princess, since she modified a portion of the Brehon Laws, 
and her ordinances were confirmed by her father. k Her name is translated "masculine hand;" 

Var-hujar, /.''..war-men, are now represented in Germany race. Ducange (says Sir Walter), lias poured forth a flood of 

by the Imirl-tn hr, or land defenders. The Varangian guard learning on this curious subject. 

>f tin Emperors of Constantinople were, as is well known, P St Columba's Life, 320. 

of Northern European extraction. Sir Walter Scott, in h Map, S. P. 0. 

Count Robert of Pari*, calls them Englishmen. Probably > Celtic Miscell. 

many were Anglians, from Sleswick, one of the provinces k Vallanccy, I. 
of modern Denmark, the cradle of the English mime and 


and she may have been daughter of Mogh Neid, and sister of the celebrated Mogh, alias Eoghan 
Mor, king of Munster, who was compelled by Conn of the Hundred Battles to divide Ireland 
with him, and was afterwards slain by Goll M c Morna, on the heath of Moylcana. It seems that 
Mogh Cor b, great-grandson of king Mogh, employed Fianna, or military mercenaries, to defend Leth 
Mogha, or his own half of the divided island, 1 against the northern Scotic conquerors. The British 
sometimes permitted their princesses to govern, as we all remember in the renowned example of Boa- 
dicea; and the British, or Picts, of Ireland, occasionally acted on the same rule (by compact, as it 
seems, with the Scots,) as in the case of Macha, the constructor of Eanihain-Macha, a great fort 
near the present city of Armagh. Archaeologists are also aware that surnames were sometimes 
derived from the mother, as from the safest source prior to the prevalence of matrimony. Mac- 
Mughdhorna, or, in ordinary form, MMorna, became, whether a patronymic or a matronymic, the 
primary cognomen or tribe-name of the descendants of Mughdhorn, the earliest authentic mention 
of whom is in Adamnan's Life of St. Columba ; in which work, and in the tripartite Life of St. 
Patrick, there are notices of " provincia Mughdornorum," viz., in the native tongue, Crioch- 
Mughdhorna, i.e., the district of the Clan Morna, now the barony of Cremorne, in the county of 

Colla, styled Mor, i.e., the Great, (and also sometimes, Meann) from whom the Clan Morna 
unquestionably descended, is mentioned in The Booh of Rights (a compilation made at Cashed, 
before the year 908,) as "having been a mighty man." So great, indeed, had been his power, 
that the chiefs of the O'Momas, or the sept sprung from him, were accustomed to receive no less 
than a ninth part of the entire revenue of the monarchy ; a tribute from royalty itself to the memory 
of their ancestor, whose sword probably was among the first to impose the taxes whence that 
revenue was obtained. Taking this remarkable circumstance into consideration, with others, we 
incline to consider this "mighty man" as identical with Goll M'Morna. Colla the Great is stated 
in the Annals of the Four Masters to have fallen in that great battle with the last king of Eamhain 
Macha, by which the extensive region afterwards known as Oriel was acquired by the Org) 
as his national tribe were called. According to this authority, he was the youngest of three 
brothers, who arc said to have been grandsons of King Cairbre Mat- Cormac TJlfhaila? These bro- 
thers were born of a Scottish mother, and are memorable as having conquered and taken possession 
of a large district in Ulster. The first historic notice of them is of their slaying the native king 
of Tara in an engagement at the confluence of the Boyne and Blackwater, in a country called 
Boss, afterwards possessed by their posterity. It is asserted that, after this victory, the eldest 

i F. M. forces, {pintcd in tin /'<"'. / (lnlJirn. makes "Moirne mor" 

'" Consult Moore's History of Ireland. w>n <>>" daughter of ih. Kin- who instituted the Fiiinna, 

"Coll was a Scandinavian name I. nine's Kuhjs of -W- and l.rinjjs in a later M<>inte, whose three sons became 

v<n/\ and Goll occurs in our annals as the name of rulers, and of whom " Call tin- Ureal" was t)u .most famous. 

more than one Fomorian, or Scandinavian invader. An Perhaps these three were " the three Colhis." 

ancient poetic account of the commanders of the Fenian 

VOL. VI. 2 


brother, Colla Vats, became King of Tara ; and that he was subsequently expelled, with his 
brothers, and three hundred men in their company, to Scotland, by Muireadhach Tireach (the 
mariner of Tirec ?) father of Niall of the Nine Hostages, and who thereupon became King of Tara. 
This eldest of the fraternity is the acknowledged ancestor of the " Lords of the Isles," and of the 
Mac Pubhgalls, or M c Dugalds, of Scotland, to whom a Scandinavian origin is also accorded. A 
Hcbridean senachie quoted by the author of Tlie Lord of the Isles, styles these chieftains "the 
Clan Colla." The brothers are stated to have returned from Scotland, with a band of but 
twentv-scven men, and to have entered the sendee of the sovereign, their relative, Muireadhach, 
as his " generals." This term we take to be a brevet title for mere captains of galloglasses. The 
latter part of this legend goes far to warrant an idea that the three brothers were descended from 
a Hebridean guardsman and the daughter of King Mogh; and that they and their posterity became 
military retainers to the conquering line of Niall of the Nine Hostages. Some years after entering 
this sendee they gained an important victory over the native king of Ulster. They then broke 
down and razed his "palace," or palisado-defended house, "out of spite to the Clan-Rury. This 
race to whom they bore enmity were, it would seem, the primitive guards, apparently of Hebridean 
extraction, to the^Pictish sovereigns of Ulster. None of the old dynasty ever dwelt again in their 
ancient seat ; while the conquerors took possession of the entire country from the Newry river to 
Lough Neagh, which afterwards received its name of Airghial, or Oirghial, from their descendants. 
The second brother, Colla dim chrioch, is said to have been ancestor of the M'Mahons, Maguires, 
M' Canns, and O'llanlons, all which septs were under O'Neill's standard ; and the chiefs of the 
latter sept were his hereditary standard-bearers north of the Boyne. 

After a lapse of time, the O'Neills, and their feudal mercenaries, the Oirghialla, expanded over 
all Ulster, with the exception of some forest-districts east and north of the great lake, which con- 
tinued to be the refuge of the remnant of the Cruithnians, Picts, or Britons. The name of Scotia 
was probably given to the North of Ireland in consequence of this expansion of these maritime 
tribes ; as, in a similar way, a like appellation was bestowed on North Britain after the extension of 
the warlike race descended from Fergus M r Earca. 

The Oirghialla tribe was divided into nine septs, each of which rendered a hostage for loyalty to 
the monarch, because they were, as it would appear, of foreign race. Their name, Oir-Ghialla, is 
translated " Golden Hostages " by historians such as O'Halloran, who declare it originated in the 
fact that the fetters used to confine these human pledges were made of gold which must have 
been abundant, or the fetters were weak. But this manifest absurdity is contradicted by the 
account of the tribe now quoted from, written before the year 908, and which distinctly says that 
these hostages were kept in a fort, on Ward Hill, near Athboy, " without incarceration and with- 
out fettering. p The correct etymon of their name appears to be Oir or Air-ghialla, i.e., Eastern 
Note to Four Masters, T. 73, p B. of Eights, p. 147. 


foreigners. They are styled Antcriorcs, i.e., Oricntales, by Adamnan ; and Nennius alludes to 
them as Fir da ghialla, i.e., men of the hostages, or the foreigners, terms which would be syno- 
nymous in an incipient vocabulary. 

From the analogy that Niall I., the famous sea-king, was styled " Of tiie Nine Hostages," it 
may be conjectured that the original living securities he obtained from foreigners were the progeni- 
tors of the nine Oirghiallan septs. If those pledges were Hebrideans, Belgians, Finnians, Anglians, 
Danes, and Goths from Gothland in Sweden, they would have been called Eastern aliens, just as 
the incomers from the fiords and wicks, or bays and inlets of Denmark were subsequently called 
Ostmen or Easterlings. 

" The Historv of the OiRGniALLA," as a most curious chapter in The Booh of Rights is entitled, 
is worthy of belief from its simplicity. The author of tins compilation of the early port of the tenth 
century, refers to "the great compact" anciently made between this martial tribe and the King 
of Ireland, by which they obtained some extraordinary privileges. It seems that their large 
territory was the only fief in the kingdom, having been held by " a tribute of military service." 
But, while they had secured uncommon immunities, they gave but a limited attendance on the 
royal banner. In fact, it is plain that they were the "national militia" vaguely written of by 
historians. Indeed, so complete are the proof's of their extraction from the Fianna, or original 
Ossianic " militia," that we marvel that this fact has not struck the Ossianic editors. 

In a. D., 594, the clan Oirghialla acted as the military force of the King of Tara, against the 

Lagcnians (men of Leinstcr) ; q and, in the 10th century, they seem to have been distinguished as 

descendants of the ancient Fianna race, the author of The Boole of Bights beginning his history of 

them thus : 

" Hear, ye people of Fail of the Fians, 

The grand stipends of the Oirghialla." 

Fians, or Fianna, the designation of the M'Morna soldiers of Tara, who slew the Leinstcr King 
of Tara, appears to have been lost, in consequence, probably, of the unpopularity of Fionn 
M c Coole's soldiery; and, so far as the Ulster band were concerned, to have merged in their 
national appellation of Oirghialla : yet, this latter tribe are frequently mentioned as " the clan of 
the fair-skinned Coll," and "the bright host of Tara."' 

The terms of their feudal tenure, which, like their privileges, were peculiar to them no other 
clan in Ireland partaking of such, and which therefore are unique and remarkable are as follows: 
They were hound to join any military or hosting expedition the monarch ordered, for six 
weeks every third year, provided the season were neither sowing nor reaping time. They mustered 
700 men, each of whom was entitled to a full-grown cow, as his pay. If their country should be 
plundered while their forces were absent on an expedition with the monarch, he was bound to 

i O'Donovan's Four Matters. r Buttle el' Mash-Hath. 


replace any loss six-fold. Whatever injury they might commit, they were only to pay the 
seventh part of whatever the general law imposed as a fine. If one of their number was accused 
on oath of an act deserving of chains, his oath was sufficient to clear him. Their nine hostages 
were left at large, on parole. All these unusual immunities evidently had their origin in the high 
bearing of this martial race, whose standard of conduct was honour, such as the chivalrous 
knightlincss of the Normans in later and loftier times. So far from rendering tribute, they 
were as free from rent as were their professional successors, the Galloglasses ; and, moreover, they 
were entitled to large stipends from the monarch, and, particularly, to a third of all profits, such 
as preys, the borumha Laighean, fines, &c, received by him. They were accustomed to make over a 
third of their receipts of this nature to the sept descended from ' Colla the Great.' 

Even these arc not all the privileges that could be enumerated as having belonged to this 
martial tribe. So completely hereditary were these advantages, that the Hy-Maine, or O'Kellys, 
who were descended from Maine, son of Fear da ghiall, an Oirghiallan, and who obtained the third 
part of Connaught, demanded and secured the same privileges from the kings of that province. It is 
expressly stated that every privilege, which books mention as having been granted to the men of Oriel 
(Oirghialla) by the monarchs of Ireland, was accorded to their offset, the O'Kellys, 8 who manifestly 
were a foreign tribe of military retainers to the Kings of Connaught, and who subsequently spread 
over the entire island by small hired detachments, in the same manner that the McDonnells mi- 
grated as galloglasses into Leinstcr, and the M c Mahons and M e Sweyncys into Munster. 

Although the great tribe-name of Clan-Colla was borne by the Lords of the Isles and by the Oirghi- 
alla, it does not appear to have given a name to any territory of the race ; whereas the patronymic, 
Mughdhorn, that of the subordinate Irish sept, did so to several countries in the North of Ireland, 
in consequence of their being occupied by the descendants of this distinguished progenitor. 1 "VVe 

s Hy Many, (J7. them was named Mourne. The Booh of Ilon-th places a 

' Oui' authorities for the vestiges here collected of the Clan Danish chief, named Art oge Mac Mome, at Dun drum ; 

Morna arc as follows: The Four Masters mention Mugh- and another, Eye Mac Carra Mac Mome, at Carlingford,J 

dorn-Maighean (now Cremorne) from the year 603 to 1110. which port they kept or guarded, by the appointment of the 

They chronicle the death, in 010, of Maelduin Mac Ailen, native provincial King of Ulster; and we find some provi- 

king of this territory, whose brother is noticed by Adam- sionof shipping, probably for coast-guard service, in Boirche, 

nan. The names mentioned of his successors are, Dun- mentioned in the Book of Rights. It is likely, indeed, that 

chadh, Angus, Ceamach, Maelbresail, Ailen, Oisin, O'Ma- the first of the clan in Ireland were Viking settlers in the 

chainen I'J'JTi, Ailen mac Oisin, and Amlaff O'Machainen, fiords of that coast. Some traditional claim on this district 

Lord of Cremorne, who died in 1053. The M c Mahons were of Mourne, to the extent of its being considered a military 

wif-rii/Jui, or superior kings, of tins sept; and it is remark- fief, or galloglass-land, seems to have existed in the 12th 

able that Kdmond Spenser mentions a tradition among the century, and even down to the 16th, when it was bestowed 

Iri-Ji that these McMahons had a foreign extracti n, which on O'Neill's galloglasses. Another offset of the clan ap- 

seems borne out by their names Coll, Magnus, Niall, and pears under the varying patronymics of O'Morna, O'(li) 

Sitrie. They, also, like the O'Kelly's, the McDonnells, the Earca-chein, and Mae-Gilla-Muire. We cannot determine 

M'-'Sweynes, Ac, Ac., were accustomed to hire themselves who Earc (the chief; and Gilla-Muire were. There was an 

out as military mercenaries. In the' 16th century, their Earc, eldest son of Colla Uais, and another, his grandson.** 

chii fsi^n. d himself " Mac Mawna," which resembles Mac Jjillymev fJ< wile m J Yfe find. u M.a.c-GU.mori, dux deAnderlxn," 

Morna iii sound.* At a very early period, they sent out a written to in 1275, and (in the annalists) that this was Der- 

branch. which retained the tribe-name of M<-\Morna, into mot, Lord of Lecale, who died the year following. His 

the <li-l iet of Uoirche (in the present county of Down), Latin title of dux, or leader, well expresses his position 

which the. subdued by force of anus,t and which from with regard to his clan. His patriarch, Gilla-Muire, may. 

* S. ]'. O., 15U0. | See Four Masters, A.D., lUJo. 
i lster Journal, II i$. S. 1'., Ill,, 3'J5. 

* Iamuer. ** B. of Kights, 121, 122. 


find the Clan-Morna noticed by the Four Masters from the 6th century to the 12th, as occupying 
Mughdhorna-Maighean (the "provinciaMughdhornorum," mentioned by Adamnan),now Cremorne, 
of which the senior of one of the nine branches of the Oirghialla was chief, about the year 908, 
by the name of King of Mughdhorn and Eoss. They also occupied land near Tara (in Meath), 
called Mughdhorna-Brcagh, where we find them in the ninth century, and whence, according to 
tradition, they were expelled into the fastnesses afterwards called Cremorne and Eoss, in Monaghan. 
Our notion that their progenitors were also of the tribe of the Orighialla, who, as M c Mahons, were 
their kings or seniors, is somewhat warranted by the legend that they sent out a branch, which 
retained the tribe-name of O'Morna, to the sea-coast district in Down, now known as the barony 
of Mourne, remarkable to travellers for the lofty mountains of this name. In verification of this 
tradition, the Book of Howth places two Danish chiefs, named Mac Morne, in Dundrum and Carlimj- 
ford, where they were stationed by a provincial king for the defence of these sea-ports, which com- 
mand the extreme points of the barony ; and we also find that the military of this district used, 
in the ninth century, to receive a certain provision of shipping from the King of Ulster, probably 
for coast-guard service in repelling foreign piratic invasions. Another branch of the clan became 
masters, at very early periods, of Gauntries which they appear to have originally held of the Pict 
kings of Ulster, and latterly of the O'Xeills, the usurpers of sovereignty, for military service, 
under the varying names of O'Morna, O'(h)Earca-0hein, and Mac-Gillamuirc. The King of the 
sept called 0'(h)Earca, i.e., grandchildren of Earc, the chief, was a stipendiary of the native sove- 
reigns of Eastern Ulster at the beginning of the tenth century. To determine who this chieftain 
was, would supply a link between the ancient patriarch, Mughdhorn, and the present families of 
Down, surnamed Gilmore, so as to enable them to claim descent from one of Ossian's heroes. This 
name, Earc, or Eric, is decidedly Scandinavian. It is worth notice that Muircheartach, who was 
burnt for usurping Meath, is called Mac-Earca, and his country " Crioch-Chcin," the territory 
of the chieftain. In 1275, Edward I. addressed letters to "Mac Gilmori, dux de Anderken," as 
one of the chieftains of Ulster. Cu-Uladh O'Morna Mae Giil-Muire, chief of Hy(n)Erca Chein 

have boon (lie son of Ceinnoidigh, recorded to have been given. Patrick TWWwsO'Gilmore was principal proprietor 

slain in 1019. In 1110, a certain " Noars Mac Anv Mac- in Knoekbreda anno 1112. It also appears by a note to tlu 

killmori O'Morna" joined a people called the Crotryes (the Ji.of Jiii/hts that llolywood (in the pros, nt County of Down) 

Crotraidhe of the lleet, Ji.of lHqhts) in burning a church was given to them by the O'Neills ; and by hagenal s Desertp- 

near Dungannon.* In the loth century, some warrior ti>m /' Ulster that they were anciently followers of the 

members of the MGihnoiv family were notorious us,!,- O'Neills. St. Mura, from whom comes the name. Gilla- 

strovers of churches. One of them attacked Carrickfergus Mnire, i.e., servant of Mura. was the O Neills patron Saint. 

church for the sake of the iron bars in its windows. In Those notices go far to establish a 1'. udal connexion between 

Lord ltodeii's copy (p. '205) of M'-I'irbis's genealogical work, the M' Mornas and the Seotic Kings of \ Ister. It may be 

"Kenneth O'Morna of Locale," is deduced from " Moma, added that ltegimdd MG Memory was head of a Seandina 

son of Kerch, ir, son of Oisen, son of Oncu, son of Hroc, viau family in Waterford in the time ol' Strongbow. 
sun of Aine," lie., but without any distinct authority being 

\>. . .' " I - r. 


and of Locale, is recorded to have been slain in 1391. We are equally at a loss to say who this dis- 
tinguished patriarch, Gillamuirc, was, who gave a third surname to his line. The learned editor 
of most of our recent arehaeologic publications has identified the country of the grandson of Earc, 
the chief, as lying in Upper Clandeboy, where (as M c Gilmores) they held the parishes of Dun- 
donald and Knoekbreda, and the lands of Holywood, which were given to them by the O'jNeills ; 
so that they were masters of nearly all the great Ards in which country, indeed, it was declared 
in 1586," that " the ancient dwellers are the O'Gilmers, a rich and strong sept," who, remarkably 
enough, are stated to have "always beex followers to the O'jNTeills." 

By another migration, apparently in the 13th century, some chiefs of the M c iIornas fled from 
tbeir king, M c A[ahon, into lower Clandeboy, where their name was given to Magheramome, a 
country on the west side of Ulfric's fiord (as the Scandinavians called Larne-lough), and reaching 
nearly to Woking's frith, v or the Viking's inlet, as they called Glenarm. This district was after- 
wards claimed as a barony belonging to the O'Neill's, lords of Clandeboy. w In the sentence which 
we have marked by capitals, we find, most probably, the true designation of the profession of one 
of the Ossianic hero's posterity, since, on the foregoing evidence, the M c Mornas may reasonably be 
assumed to have originally been Gall-oglacha, or foreign military servitors, to the Scotic conquerors 
of the north of Ireland. 

Iliving thus traced the history of the Fenians of Ulster, with considerable appearance of authen- 
ticity, let us turn to that of their rivals in Lcinster, the hired soldiei's settled in Fingal, and 
employed by the Leinstcr Kings in defending their fortress of Almhuin, in Kildare, and resisting 
the conquests of the Ulster Scots. 

The Fenian forces are said by the editor of the Battle of Gabhra to have been divided into bands 
according to their provinces. IPMorna, he states, commanded Connaught military, who were of 
Belgian race ; but, according to our view, he was commander of Ulster Fians, the Clanna Morna, 
ancestor of the Oirghialla. Certainly, the Connaught military subsequently were Oirghiallan ; 
and the Munster Fians may have produced the O'Mahons. The same editor states correctly (in 
accordance with our impression}, that the Lcinster and Heath soldiery were the Clan O'Baisgne. 
Our authority then gives an ancient poem, which, in attributing the institution of Fenian forces 
in this country to one Fiach, brother of the monarch, Tuathal, nearly coincides with an opinion 
we had preconceived, viz., that this king, Tuathal, introduced forces from the Scandinavian-Scottish 
islands. It is observable that the mother of these brothers is said to have been a Scottish 
princess, and that their father obtained monarchy by slaying the Pictish King of Eamauia," Fiatach, 
patriarch of the chiefs of Eastern Ulster. 

Bainc, the daughter of a Finnish king, and wife of Tuathal, may have been ancestress to Fionn 

u Sir Henry Bapenal's Description of Ulster- w S. F. O. 

' Barbour's Bruce. * Magli-Ratb, 829. 


O'Baisgne (as the Four Masters name Fionn M c Cumhal), the commander of the Clanna-Baisgnc 
Fenians. She erected an earthen fort in the Fenian region of Oriel, and was buried there ; so that 
she may have been an Oirghiallan. 

This Tuathal, who offers the first semblance of a real political monarch of Ireland, is said to have 
flourished in the second century. In our opinion, he was not of Scotic extraction, nor of the 
O'Xeill line, but legitimate Sovereign of Meath, as representative of Kings of the Gaedhil 
Phict of that dynasty. He is stated to have fought 133 battles in establishing his sway; and 
appears to have made Meath a demesne for the support of his luchd-tighe, or soldiery, who seem to 
have been styled Luchd na Teamhrach, or guards of Tara. He was further maintained by the Borumha 
Lcughean, the great cow-tribute levied off Leinster. Phelim, his son, whose queen was another 
Fenian, established the Teutonic law of compensation for personal injury, in place of the Asiatic 
custom of retaliation previously practised. 

There seems to have been a subordinate Gaelic dynasty in Leinster, the representatives of which 
sometimes took the monarchy from the Meath line. Indeed, the Leinster-men are positively de- 
clared 5 to have been the rightful owners of Meath (including Tara) down to the Gth century, 
when it was finally taken from them by the Scotic O'Xcill line. As such, they had been the original 
sovereigns of Ireland a fact referred to by Dcrmot na nGall ^so called because he imported foreign 
auxiliaries) when reminding his forces that all the island had anciently been subject to his race. 

After the death of Phelim, the Leinster-men arc said to have established one of their race, 
Cahir Mor, as monarch, for three years. If, as we conceive, the struggle for Tara was, at that 
time, between the Pictish dynasties of Meath and Leinster, the contest was closed in a remarkable 
manner, and at the time when the Fenians make their first appearance on the stage of Irish history. 
The Leinster monarch was slain "by the Finn, or militia, or soldiers, called Luaiyh ne-Tiuimhair,"' a 
band then commanded by the celebrated Conn of the Hundred Patties. 

Who was this conqueror, Conn, whose name Cu-inn (hound of the waves), indicates that he was a 
Sea-king? He is said to have been son of Phelim, son of Tuathal : but what faith can he reposed 
in oral genealogies, referring to Pagan ages, when marriage was unknown'.-' And what credit i in 
be given to the date ascribed to his reign, when we know that, as late as the twelfth century, 
Irish public documents were rarely dated from the Christian era, but from such an uncertain epoch 
as "the year when the kine and swine perished by a pestilence ?' ' 

The young hero, Conn, was according to a reasonable and. therefore, interesting account of the 
Battle of Cattle Knock, h brought up, or fostered by the Clanna Morna, the bind that, we believe, 
were the very Fians who slew Cahir Mor. They, or, at least, their captain. Coll. subsequently 
slew Eoghan Mor, King of Minister, who had been cempolhd to divide In land with Conn. These 

> Book of Rights. ,n " st curious of any Ossianic legends \v have read Fi r 

* Book of Rights, and Four Masters. the \\<i~ of this manuscript, ..ur thanks are due to th<j 

* Irish Arch- Misc., I P2.i. Ossuunc Society. 
i> This tract is the least incredible, and, therefore, the 


fosterers of this conqueror would, according to custom, have become his guards, attached to him by 
the strong tie which fosterage ensured; and their swords manifestly formed the power, which, having 
slain the Kings of Leinster and Minister, placed this Scotic Northern in the position of sovereign. 
How else did he obtain his power, if his circumstances were such as are shadowed out in the Annals 
of the Four Masters ? According to their authority, all the nobility had been massacred a century 
before his rise ; and it is likely that an event of this kind, though not literally, did occur. The 
insurgents were plebeians, that is to say, conquered races, into whose hands, weapons seem to have 
been put; and this "Sepoy" rising and massacre are the very acts which enthralled castes, with 
anus newly in their hands, would be likely to commit. The genealogists make this usurper fourth 
in descent from a certain infant noble, born after the massacre ; for, fortunately, three 
voung freemen came afterwards into being, as the Shem, Ham, and Japhet, of the bloody 
deluge, up to whom almost all Gaelic pedigrees are since regularly traced. We say almost, for there 
was a forgotten Deucalion remaining from this apocryphal extinction of all noble blood in Ireland 
namely, the progenitor of the Leinster King, Cahir Mor. How came Conn to be strong enough 
to take the monarchy from this prince ? His progenitors seem to have been prolific, indeed, to have 
provided him, in three generations, with a clan sufficiently numerous. But it is evident that he 
was supported by " foreigners," just as his son's expeller was. The history of this period includes 
the origin and rise of our Ossianic heroes, so that we must give it due exa